Sources say explosive device was sitting in Detroit federal building for several weeks

Guard suspended until further notice

DETROIT (WXYZ) - The explosive device that was found inside the McNamara federal building, Friday, was actually sitting inside the building for several weeks before it was examined.

A Department of Homeland Security official confirmed that an on-site contract guard involved in the incident is suspended until further notice.

In the meantime, the FBI is working to confirm that the device had "explosive components.” They have sent what's left of those components to their lab at Quantico.

Action News cameras captured federal agents inspecting the remnants of an explosive device after the Detroit Bomb Squad detonated it on Belle Isle Friday. Crime scene tape and flags marked the area—as a federal Evidence Response Team examined what was left of the device.

Federal security officers removed the metal box from the McNamara federal building around 10:00 a.m. on Friday. A security officer x-rayed the box, and when it seemed suspicious, moved it to a dumpster between two concrete barriers outside the building.

Police sources told Action News this is a “huge concern.” They said the metal box was about 10 inches by 8 inches, and had wires and powder in it. It was found inside a nylon bag with handles, in the security area of the McNamara building.

“We have to take every situation seriously,” said Detroit Police Bomb Squad Inspector Don Johnson.

When the bomb squad arrived, a specially trained officer wearing a protective suit removed the device from the dumpster, and then they took it out to Belle Isle where it was detonated.

“I’m glad they did call us, and we were able to secure the device, and look at it for further investigating, see what’s actually inside the device,” said Johnson.

Several streets were shut down during the incident—but the McNamara building was not evacuated. The building houses the FBI, IRS, the Social Security Administration, and other federal agencies.

Several cameras are posted around the McNamara building. Presumably, those will be reviewed to see if they can provide any clues as to who left the explosive device inside.

When Action News Invetigator, Heather Catallo asked the FBI’s spokeswoman, Sandra Berchtold, about whether they had any suspects, Berchtold would only say she could neither confirm nor deny that. It’s not clear at this point if the McNamara building was searched.


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