WACO, TX – For a while, investigators thought they may have found the culprit behind the April 17 explosion at the West Fertilizer plant in West, Texas.
Federal agents arrested paramedic Bryce Reed three weeks later on charges of unlawfully possessing an unregistered destructive device.
But the Texas Rangers took a hard look at the explosion and determined Reed had nothing to do with.
So now, the former paramedic is out on bail, awaiting his trial on the federal charges that he had all the makings for a pipe bomb.
Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives say they found an unassembled pipe bomb that reed apparently gave to his neighbor in Abbott nine days after the explosion that killed fifteen people.
They say a 3.5 inch long galvanized metal pipe and a hobby fuse were among the items found. Agents also say they found several pounds of chemical powders in plastic bags, including potassium nitrate and sulfur powder.
Since his arrest, Reed has lost his job as a paramedic, and his wife has filed for divorce. Court documents say he admitted having the bomb material, but apparently didn’t say why.
We’ll eventually find out, but it doesn’t seem to be the kind of stuff you have in the house, especially with a 3-year-old around.