Police: Bomb threat suspect not politically affiliated, mad at entire government system
SPOKANE, Wash. — The suspect in a bomb threat at the Teamsters building said he does not align with a political party, but is instead mad at the entire government system and the “elites” within.
The Spokane Police Department on Thursday identified the suspect 45-year-old Peter Yeager of Grand Coulee, an Iraqi war veteran who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Police said Yeager described himself as a “lone wolf” and used Google to find the nearest political office at his home in Grand Coulee. The Spokane County Democrats’ Office was the first to appear and he reportedly assumed the Republican office was in Idaho or further away.
According to SPD, Yeager told investigators he had been thinking about doing something radical for a long time. According to court documents, Yeager said he did not have any desire to overthrow the government, but he “just wanted to see them to do their job.” He reportedly said he believed what he did on Wednesday would get our “leaders attention” [sic].
Police said Yeager hoped to burn down the building, but not to hurt anyone, which is why he tried to get everyone out before starting a fire.
Police said Yeager was wearing a backpack with wires on it when he entered the building on Wednesday. A witness told police Yeager also had a toolbox with wires sticking out.
“From what we know at this point in time, that’s the device [backpack] that either set off or attempted to set off — that started whatever fire there was,” said Sgt. Terry Preuninger with Spokane Police. “It was supposed to be some incendiary device, or we believed designed to be.”
Authorities determined it was not an explosive. Court documents say detectives found oil, gas, toilet paper and a camping lighter in the backpack. A fire investigator said in court documents that he found several areas in the office where it looked like an accelerant had been poured.
Investigators determined the office had fire and smoke damage, leaving the office a total loss.
During questioning, Yeager told police he hoped “people would listen to him if they believed he had a bomb.”
Police were also in Grant County at Yeager’s home. According to court documents, Spokane Police found three bottles of vodka. Yeager admitted to police that the bought them with the “intention of using as Molotov cocktails.”
Yeager also told investigators he created a “manifesto” which in part reads: “Although I have profound respect for the grassroots movement of both the Democratic and Republican parties, sharing many of their ideals and values, we will continue domestic operations against their ruling elite as they exist in their current form… long live the Republic.”
According to court documents, witnesses told detectives Yeager told the witness to give it the media and put it on social media, but did not take the letter.
Yeager was taken into custody on a first-degree arson charge and a judge found probable cause to charge him with burglary and threats to bomb property. The state believes he would commit other violent offenses.
His bond was set at $500,000. He’s set to appear back in court on Dec. 22.
The FBI has also launched an investigation into the incident.
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