MARBLE FALLS, Texas (KXAN) — A patient at a Temple hospital was arrested over the weekend after police say he told hospital staff he put an “incendiary device” in his Marble Falls motel room.
According to the Marble Falls Police Department, Lowry Neuman Vann, 73, of Killeen, was arrested on an arson with intent to damage habitation charge, which is a first-degree felony.
The incident took place the evening of Nov. 11. Police say Vann was a patient at the Veteran’s Affairs Hospital in Temple, where he told staff he had put an explosive device inside his room at the Hill Country Inn & Suites of Marble Falls, located off U.S. Highway 281.
An arrest affidavit for Vann says he explained to law enforcement “that he placed approximately 7 to 8 propane tanks into a box and put a comforter over the propane tanks.”
According to the affidavit, Vann went on to say he put five gallons of gas on the comforter and placed acetone over the gas. He then “constructed a delayed fuse out of paper towels which were twisted around matches in a bundle.”
Vann told law enforcement he then put the fuse under the bathroom door, locked the door, lit the fuse and left the hotel. The affidavit says Vann later checked himself into the hospital.
The affidavit states Vann told police “God instructed him to build the incendiary device.”
MFPD officers responded to the Hill Country Inn & Suites and found the partially-burned homemade fuse under the bathroom door and the materials used to make the combustible device. Police noted in the affidavit the fuse looked like it went out as it went under the bathroom door.
Two rifles, a pistol and ammunition were also found in the room, the affidavit states. The motel was evacuated after the discovery. At the time, people were renting rooms in the same building as Vann’s room.
MFPD says the Austin Police Department Bomb Squad responded to the motel and secured the scene. The combustible materials were removed from the room by a hazardous waste disposal team.
The MFPD Criminal Investigations Division and the Texas State Fire Marshal’s Office conducted a joint investigation, and took Vann into custody afterward. Our partners at KWKT in Waco say he was being held at the Bell County Jail with a bond of $300,000.