AUSTIN (KXAN) — Recently-filed court documents reveal the man connected with an explosion at an Austin hospital Aug. 9 was accused of asking someone to remove something from his home prior to officials searching it.
According to an arrest affidavit, Raymond Luke Garner, 38, was accused of corruptly concealing, attempting to conceal, and counseling, inducing, and procuring another to conceal an object with the intent to impair the object’s availability for use in an official proceeding. When it announced his arrest, the Austin Police Department also said he was charged with a third-degree felony of Components of Explosives. KXAN has reached out to his attorney and will update this story when we receive a response.
An agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, or ATF, conducted the report and said Garner, shortly after being detained for questioning and then released, sent a message to an individual saying, “I need you to please go to my house and take the box in front of my washer home. It’s very important that you do this as soon as possible.” He also stated, “I’ll explain later.”
The affidavit said the individual retrieved a box from Garner’s residence the same day as the explosion at the hospital and later brought the box into their apartment.
According to documents, ATF agents spoke with that person Aug. 10. During the interview, the individual “eventually presented that box to agents and voluntarily surrendered it to their custody.”
The affidavit said ATF investigators trained in explosives investigations arrived and conducted a standard preliminary safety evaluation of the box.
An X-ray on the box revealed what agents assessed to be a canister that appeared to hold a powdery substance, another canister that seemed to have a liquid and wires. The affidavit said the Austin Police Department Bomb Squad was then called to assist.
“Inside the box, investigators found, among other things, what has been preliminarily determined to be two of the three precursor chemicals for the manufacture of the high explosive HMTD (hexamethylene triperoxide diamine) and safety fuses,” the affidavit said.
An ATF agent said in the affidavit that based on their training and experience, the content of the box Garner asked the individual to move was significant to the ongoing investigation because “the box contained precursor chemicals for a high explosive and safety fuses, both of which could be used in the construction of a destructive device.”
The next day, officials searched a Cedar Park home that public records showed belonged to Garner, confirming the investigation was connected to the explosion in the parking garage. They executed a search warrant and inside, officials said a napkin was found with handwritten notes that listed chemicals, proportions for those chemicals and instructions for their combination and processing.
An arrest warrant for Garner was filed Friday, and a motion was filed Monday to detain him without a bond. As of Wednesday, he was not listed in Travis County jail records; although, court records showed he was arrested Monday.