Austin College grad linked to bomb plot - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Austin College grad linked to bomb plot

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HOUSTON (AP) -- Authorities have collected and disposed of hazardous materials found at the home of a man accused of trying to damage a Confederate statue at a Houston park with explosives.

Houston Fire Department Chief Samuel Peña said the materials were disposed of during a small controlled detonation at the home Monday afternoon.

Several houses in the neighborhood were evacuated while authorities had collected the materials.

Authorities declined to specify what materials they found in the home of 25-year-old Andrew Schneck, citing the ongoing investigation.

Searching Andrew Schneck's home
Federal agents search contents from the Houston home of Andrew Schneck. (KPRC)

"There's a significant amount of material in there," said Houston Police Department Assistant Chief Larry Satterwhite. "We want to make sure it's safe. We've even had to cut utilities ... at these locations over here."

In 2014, Schneck pleaded guilty to the improper storage of explosives. He had to pay fines and just got off probation nine months ago.

The investigation also led to a routine search in the Sherman area -- including a stop at Austin College, Schneck's alma mater. He graduated from Austin College last year with a chemistry major.

School spokesman Tim Millerick said Schneck was known as a star student. "Clearly, [Schneck] is a strong chemistry student and with strong interests and curiosities in that area," he said. "We didn't create, we didn't stop it, we didn't fuel it, but it's a part of who he is -- strong academically in that area."

Deron Ogletree, with the FBI's Houston office, said investigators are still determining a motive, but there are "no indications of any additional threats to the Houston area."

According to FBI reports, their investigations came up without a hint of Schneck delving into political interests.

"I don't know what would be driving his interest in this statue, because I never sensed that he had a leaning. He was pretty much into his academic interests, and that was about it," Millerick said.

Schneck was planning on attending graduate school in Houston.

Schneck is charged with attempting to maliciously damage or destroy property receiving federal financial assistance and he remains in custody. If convicted, he faces up to 40 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

KTEN reporter Amelia Mugavero and KPRC contributed to this report.

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