UPDATED 7:45 PM PT – Saturday, January 23, 2021
Authorities are investigating the vandalism and possible explosion at a local church in El Monte, California.
Officers responded to the scene early Saturday morning after hearing a loud explosion and reports of smoke coming from the ‘First Works Baptist Church.’
Investigators said the walls were vandalized with profanity and the windows looked to be smashed.
The church has been the focus of recent protests in the community and has been labeled as anti-LGBTQ.
The FBI responded overnight with @elmontepolice & @LASDHQ to an #IED attack at the First Works Baptist Church in El Monte, CA. Bomb Techs & the FBI’s Evidence Team continue to process the scene. If you have a tip about the responsible party, please call 3104776565. #SeekingInfo pic.twitter.com/LobrjbrZtx
— FBI Los Angeles (@FBILosAngeles) January 23, 2021
“It appeared that the walls to the church had been vandalized as well as all the windows at first appeared to be smashed,” El Monte Police Department Lt. Christopher Cano said. “Then, we realized that the windows were not smashed and that they had actually blown out from some type of explosion.”
No injuries were reported in the incident and authorities said a joint investigation is underway to apprehend the person, or group, responsible.