FBI Taking Lead In Suspicious Package Investigation

SPOKANE, Wash. - The FBI has taken over as a lead agency in the investigation of a suspicious package found along the route for the annual Unity March in remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that forced the route to be changed.

Around 9:30 Monday morning a Spokane city employee found a suspicious backpack in the parking lot across from the INB Performing Arts Center.

Spokane police cordoned off the area in the vicinity of the intersection of Main and Washington and the Explosives Disposal Unit was called in to investigate the package.

The Explosives Device Unit sent a remote-controlled robot in several times to investigate the backpack before disrupting it around 1 p.m.

A Hazardous Materials team is on-site and they're testing the device, though it's not known yet what they are testing for. Police won?t confirm whether the package contained any explosives.

Because of the cordon that was thrown up around the suspicious package the planned course for the annual Unity March had to be re-directed through downtown Spokane.

Captain Frank Scalise with the Spokane Police Department said that authorities would remain at the scene gathering more information and evidence. Drivers should plan on avoiding southbound Washington during their evening commute.