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FBI, ATF helping with Little Free Library explosion investigation

Federal and state law enforcement have joined the investigation into a series of small explosions in the Arlington Forest neighborhood.

As ARLnow first reported, someone blew up a Little Free Library on the 100 block of N. Columbus Street and caused another small explosion at the nearby Lubber Run amphitheater early Wednesday morning.

The Arlington County Fire Department was joined by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; and Virginia State Police in processing evidence from the scene.

“The Fire Prevention Office is asking anyone that lives in the immediate area with home surveillance equipment to please review their video for any information that could assist with the investigation,” ACFD said Thursday evening.

The full ACFD press release is below.

At approximately 12:45 a.m. on Nov. 9, 2022, the Arlington County Fire Department responded to the 100 block of N. Columbus St. for a reported outside fire. When crews arrived, they found a small outside fire, as well as a destroyed privately owned exterior book collection box (or, a “Little Free Library”).

A Fire Marshal was requested to the scene and during the initial investigation, it was determined that the likely source of the fire and damage was caused by a small explosion.

While performing a canvass of the initial crime scene (100 block of N. Columbus St.), the Arlington County Fire Prevention Office located a second possible crime scene at the Lubber Run amphitheater. The scene was processed by the Arlington County Fire Prevention Office with assistance from the Arlington County Fire Department Bomb Squad, Virginia State Police (VSP), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The Arlington County Fire Prevention Office will be sending collected evidence to the ATF lab for processing. This location, as well as the initial scene, are believed to be connected and all possible leads are being explored.

The investigation is still ongoing, and we will provide updates as they become available. There is currently no suspect(s) description.

The Fire Prevention Office is asking anyone that lives in the immediate area with home surveillance equipment to please review their video for any information that could assist with the investigation.

Anyone with information pertaining to this incident is encouraged to reach out by emailing [email protected] or by calling the Arlington County Police Department’s Tip Line at 703-228-4180.

Blown up Little Free Library in Arlington Forest (photo courtesy Michael Thomas)

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