GLEN BURNIE, Md. (WJZ)--Authorities in Anne Arundel County reveal more about the bombs and explosive chemicals they discovered inside a Glen Burnie home last week.
Derek Valcourt explains how the startling discovery may have saved lives.
Police say they believe this bust may have prevented a domestic terrorism attack. They say explosives they found were powerful enough to destroy several homes.
Sulfur, ammonium chloride and potassium chlorate. Authorities say they discovered more than 100 pounds of chemicals used to make explosives inside a small home on Edgerly Road in Glen Burnie---and that's not all. They also found fuses, detonators and bombs already assembled. Behind it all, police say, was 28-year-old Todd Wheeler Jr., who they believe put the homemade explosives together with the help of several manuals.
"These materials were capable of maiming, injuring or killing human beings," said Anne Arundel County Fire Department Chief Michael Cox.
Officials say the discovery first came when patrol officers were called to deal with a possibly suicidal Wheeler on Jan. 1. Officers smelled chemicals and realized Wheeler's injuries looked like they'd been caused by a blast.
The big question behind all of this is why. Police say they have no motive and so far, Wheeler has not been cooperative.
Police also confiscated firearms and say they have evidence that flare guns were being modified to fire makeshift explosives. They say some of the explosives had a blast radius of more than 50 yards.
"So it would have taken out the house and the surrounding houses. The potential was there for that," said Anne Arundel County Fire Marshal Robert Howarth.
"I only live a couple of houses down so it would have damaged my house, hurt my family, hurt my kids so it's a big concern for me," said neighbor Josh Phillips.
The news is unnerving in the small community. Many neighbors say Wheeler kept to himself.
For now, Wheeler remains locked up in jail facing several state charges of possession and manufacturing of destructive devices. Authorities are also looking into the possibility of federal charges in the case.
Police say for now, it appears Wheeler was acting alone. No one else has been detained or charged in connection with the case.
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