A man had fired a flare-type gun from inside the house 30 times.
WASHINGTON: A house explosion in the Washington, DC, suburb of Arlington, Virginia, was an isolated incident and authorities are investigating concerning social media posts made by the suspect, who died in the blast, police said on Tuesday.
Police identified the home’s resident, James Yoo, 56, as the suspect in Monday night’s explosion, which witnesses said shook nearby buildings and emitted a large tower of flames and smoke.
No other injuries were reported in the explosion, which affected 10 households in the immediate area, police said at a news briefing. Neighbors had been evacuated hours earlier after police responded to reports of possible shots fired, they said.
Authorities on the scene determined that a man had fired a flare-type gun from inside the house 30 times, Arlington police chief Andy Penn said. Later, police heard multiple gunshots fired from inside the house, he said.
The explosion occurred hours after police and fire officials were first called to the home. Remains found inside were believed to be that of Yoo, who is presumed dead, Penn said.
There is no continuing threat to the community and an investigation of the incident is ongoing, he said. Officials did not give a cause for the blast.
“We are aware of concerning social media posts allegedly made by a suspect and these will be reviewed as part of the ongoing criminal investigation,” Penn said.
The FBI’s assistant director in charge of the Washington field office, David Sundberg, said the suspect had communicated with the FBI over a number of years via phone calls, online tips and letters. The communications, mainly complaints “about alleged frauds he believed were perpetrated against him,” did not lead the FBI to open any investigations, he said.
Arlington County, with a population of about 234,000, is just across the Potomac River from Washington.