Seattle police arrested a man outside FBI headquarters in downtown Seattle Saturday after parking a car with a burning tire next to the building and telling responding officers that he had a bomb, police and FBI officials said Officer.
Police quickly arrested the man and determined there was no bomb, said Seattle interim police chief Adrian Diaz.
The man held while police are investigating the incident appears to have acted alone and is not known to be associated with extremist groups, Diaz and Earl Camp, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Seattle office is announced in a joint press conference.
“At the moment it seems like a lonely person making threats,” said Diaz.
The incident took place around 1:14 p.m. in an alley behind a building that houses the FBI’s Seattle branch on Third Avenue and Spring Street.
Seattle police and fire fighters responded to the scene because a tire on the man’s vehicle was on fire, Diaz said.
“The officers contacted the driver of the vehicle and the driver noticed that there was a bomb in the vehicle,” the chief said. “The officers immediately cordoned off the area and locked everything.”
Police blocked stretches of Third and Fourth Streets for several hours on Saturday afternoon while FBI agents and the city’s arson / bombing unit investigated the threat and “found there was no bomb in the vehicle,” Diaz said.
Given mounting tensions following the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol and national law enforcement as the president’s inauguration looms on Wednesday, Camp and Diaz said they were not aware of any specific threat to buildings or events in Seattle or the state Washington aware.
“We feel in a really good position,” said Camp. “If we receive any indication of a specific threat, we will contact our local law enforcement partners and take all necessary steps to ensure that the citizens of Seattle and Washington are safe.”
As part of a general precautionary measure against potential threats in buildings in the state capital across the country, the FBI has set up command posts in all 56 of its field offices across the country, an agency spokesman said Friday.