Authorities launch criminal investigation into West explosion - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Authorities launch criminal investigation into West explosion

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A McLennan County man was arrested Friday morning after he was found to be in possession of an explosive device. Bryce Reed, 31, was taken into custody by Federal Marshals at around 2:00 a.m.

On May 7, McLennan County Sheriff's Office was called to a residence in Abbott for a possible destructive device.

Authorities discovered an assortment of bomb making components including a hobby fuse, a lighter, a digital scale, plastic spoon, and six coils of metal ribbon. They also found several chemical powders including Nitrate, Aluminum, powder, Red Iron Oxide, Ammonium Perchlorate, Potassium Perchlorate, Sulfur powder Air Float Charcoal and Eckart 10890 German Dark Aluminum.

It was determined that the destructive device components found at the residence had been in the possession of Reed.

According to authorities, Reed is a paramedic, and was one of the first responders on the scene the day of the explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, TX. Reed also attended the memorial service in Waco for the victims who lost their lives in the explosion.

Authorities have not confirmed whether this arrest is in connection to the West explosion. The Texas Department of Public Safety will join the McLennan County Sheriff's Office in launching a criminal investigation into the April 17 fertilizer plant explosion.

"This disaster has severely impacted the community of West, and we want to ensure that no stone goes unturned and that all the facts related to this incident are uncovered," said DPS Director Steven McCraw.

Fact Sheet: West, Texas Fertilizer Plant Incident

  • The State Fire Marshal's Office and ATF have maintained, from the beginning of the investigation into the origin and cause of the West Fertilizer Plant fire, that an intentional act or a criminal act could not be eliminated. The investigation always has been, and will continue to be handled as a criminal investigation.
  •  At no time was the investigation limited to an industrial accident.
  • Investigators continue their work based on two state district court search warrants. The warrants were issued shortly after investigators arrived at the scene of the explosion.
  •  The decision to maintain a criminal investigation is the result of:
  •  Approximately 250 leads that have been developed.
  •  Over 400 people that have been interviewed.
  •  Approximately 20,000 hours of labor, to date, conducting the investigation.
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