WEST, TX – A warrant lead to the arrest of a first responder in the central Texas town of West.
Bryce Reed was booked into the McLennan County jail at 5:10 a.m. Friday. He faces a federal charge of possession of a destructive device.
Authorities indicate the 31-year-old had a pipe bomb.
The McLennan County Sheriff’s office says there’s no evidence at this time linking Reed’s arrest to the fire or explosion at the West Fertilizer Co. that killed 15 people.
According to sources, Reed asked an acquaintance to store a box for him sometime after the April 19 explosive at the West Fertilizer Company. That person reportedly found what appeared to be a pipe bomb in the box. Authorities were then contacted which led to the investigation.
Reed was one of the first to arrive at the catastrophic explosion at the fertilizer plant in April. He was assigned to be the incident commander at the scene. AP reports Reed was fired two days after the explosion.
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives special agent Douglas Kunze says in the complaint that sheriff’s deputies were called earlier this week to a home near West where they found a pipe, chemicals and fuses.
They say the objects belonged to Reed, who didn’t enter a plea when he appeared in court Friday.
Rangers in Texas are also involved in the investigation.