UPDATE: The Amarillo Police Dept. announced the completion of the on-scene investigation at the 3600 block of Lenwood scene and residents can now resume normal traffic today, July 29.
APD said that residents were allowed home but were asked to shelter in place. Once the suspect’s residence and immediate area were cleared, the area was released by law enforcement, APD explained.
The APD released the following statement:
Thank you to the community for your patience while we worked to render the area safe, and then continued to collect evidence for several days. Thank you to also to the first responders, including AFD, AECC, AMR, AES, FBI, HSI, and our own APD officers who worked around the clock to secure the scene and also effectively process the scene for future prosecution. We know there are still so many questions about the investigation and what will happen from here. We pledge to keep the citizens of Amarillo informed as updates become available and we are able to share information while maintaining the integrity of the case investigation.
AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The investigation into Monday’s explosion in Southwest Amarillo will likely continue into Thursday, Amarillo Police said on Wednesday evening.
Amarillo Police Department (APD) Cpl. Jeb Hilton said the Amarillo Fire Department responded to a reported explosion at a home on the 3600 block of Lenwood Dr. on Monday afternoon. He said AFD determined there was an explosion in the backyard, where explosive materials were later found. They were also found inside the home and in the alley.
APD was called and later arrested Erfan Salmanzadeh, 32, for Possession of Components of Explosives, a third degree felony. He was booked into the Randall County Jail.
On Wednesday, MyHighPlains.com learned Salmanzadeh has chosen to represent himself in court, according to official documents from Randall County. Jail records showed his bond set at $1 million.
Salmanzadeh does not have any previous criminal history in Potter and Randall Counties.
More than two days after the initial explosion, APD’s Bomb Team remain on the scene, where the FBI and Department of Homeland Security are assisting.
Cpl. Hilton said Wednesday they were continuing to gather evidence.
“I know that they are finding evidence,” Cpl. Hilton said. “There was stuff that definitely led to the arrest of the suspect in this. So, there were explosive materials and different things in the house that led to that as far as exactly what they are. I don’t have those details.”
Cpl. Hilton said Salmanzadeh lives with a family member who owns the home where the explosion occurred.
He said Salmanzadeh was not on APD’s radar prior to the incident, and they do not know whether he had specific plans for any explosive materials.
“Motive is one of those things that takes a little bit longer to get to and then sometimes never, never find what it is. So, we’re hoping that through this investigation, we will get to that,” Cpl. Hilton added. “Our main priority right now is having him locked up to where he can’t cause any damage and making sure that we’re making this place safe.”
As of Wednesday, he said APD was not looking for any other suspects in this case.
“We are investigating the case. That case takes us somewhere else, eventually, we will follow it but at this point, we’re definitely just investigating this area.”
While the investigation is slow-moving, Cpl. Hilton said they want to cover all of their bases.
“We’re not taking our time out here just because we want to we’re doing it for a reason to make sure everybody’s safe,” he continued. “Know that it will be thoroughly investigated.”
Wednesday evening, APD said people who live on the 3600 block of Lenwood Dr. could return to their homes. Residents were directed to contact the police officer at the intersection of Lenwood Dr. & Rebecca Dr., where they would show ID with a current address.
According to APD Sgt. Carla Burr, those residents were asked to shelter in place because while the area is considered to be safe, the investigation is ongoing.
The block remains closed to the public. APD said traffic would continue to be affected.