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CBS News: FBI arrests suspect in Wash. MLK day bomb case

March 9, 2011- A US law enforcement official has told CBS News there has been an arrest in the investigation into the backpack bomb discovered In Spokane, Washington in January.

A magistrate clerk at the U.S. District Court in Spokane tells The Associated Press that Kevin William Harpham, who was arrested Wednesday, is scheduled to make an initial appearance later Wednesday.

Harpham has been charged with one count of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and one count of knowingly possessing an improvised explosive device.

The IED was placed along the route of the Martin Luther King, Jr Day parade, and sources tell CBS News correspondent Bob Orr that it was positioned in such a way to potentially cause significant damage and injuries. It was spotted by passersby the morning of the parade and was rendered safe by bomb squad technicians before it could explode.

The FBI will not comment on the arrest, but a source says one person has been arrested and is expected to make an initial court appearance later this afternoon in Spokane.

The investigation has been a top priority for the FBI. Sources say it's too early to know if other arrests may be made in the case.

It has been a little more than a month since the sophisticated bomb was found along the route of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade.

The motive is unclear, although the timing on the civil rights leader's holiday had the FBI speculating that it may be the work of racists.

Residents of this city of 208,000 had been questioning why the investigation appeared to be moving slowly.

After an initial disclosure of many details, the FBI clammed up, leaving locals worried that the bomber was still at large and may strike again.

The FBI initially released photos of the backpack and of two T-shirts found inside. Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said he was told the bomb was mixed with shrapnel and also had a chemical component.

The bomb was sent to an FBI lab in Quantico, Va., and the agency offered a $20,000 reward for information from the public. The FBI has said it received plenty of photos and video from the public, but nothing that has allowed them to identify a suspect.

The two T-shirts were an intriguing detail; both were tied to Stevens County, which is just northwest of Spokane. One of the shirts was distributed last year at the "Relay for Life" race in Colville. The second shirt - which had the words "Treasure Island Spring 2009" on the front - was from a local theater production in 2009 in the town of Chewelah.


The FBI declined to comment on whether it was focusing on the rural county.


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