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Arrest made in US bank bombing

world Updated: Dec 15, 2008 10:56 IST

AP
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Police arrested a suspect late on Sunday in the bank bombing that killed two officers and critically injured a police chief, authorities said.

Sheriff Russ Isham of Marion County declined to release the suspect's name, saying it would jeopardize the integrity of the investigation and the safety of officers still working the case. Officers made the arrest shortly after the sheriff released surveillance photos of a "person of interest." It was not immediately known if the man in the photos, apparently taken with a security camera, is the same person under arrest. Isham would not release the precise location where the arrest occurred, and said the suspect's name likely wouldn't be released until on Monday afternoon. "I'm really proud of those who tirelessly worked to get us to this point and am humbled by the community's support," Isham said. "We know there is still a lot of hard work ahead of us, but this development will help bring relief to the local community and the officer's families."

Earlier Sunday, Isham said cell phones and items that might have been used to make the Woodburn bomb were bought in the central Oregon city of Bend last month. Authorities would not elaborate on how cell phones might have been used. Bombers often use cell phone signals to remotely detonate explosives.

The manager of a Woodburn branch of West Coast Bank found the device on Friday after a call about a bomb threat to a nearby Wells Fargo bank branch that turned up a harmless device. The bomb was found outside, but the officers took the bomb into the bank, where it exploded.

Woodburn Police Chief Scott Russell remained in critical condition on Sunday at a Portland hospital as a result of the blast that killed Woodburn police Capt. Tom Tennant and Oregon State Police Senior Trooper William Hakim.

Robert Sznewajs, the CEO of West Coast Bank, said Sunday that the bank planned to establish a fund for the families of the law enforcement officers.