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Rainer Reinscheid, UC Irvine professor, researched ways to attack son's school, prosecutors allege

Rainer Reinscheid, 48, a professor at the University of California, Irvine, was arrested July 24, 2012 on numerous felony arson charges. AP Photo/Orange County District Attorney's Office

(CBS/AP) NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. - Rainer Reinscheid, a professor who authorities say wrote emails threatening to attack a California high school as revenge for his son's suicide, was allegedly doing Internet searches on ammonium fertilizer and auto explosions in the months prior to his arrest for arson, prosecutors said Wednesday.

A pharmaceutical sciences professor at University of California, Irvine, Reinscheid conducted between 40 and 60 Internet searches since March about topics such as guns, gun laws, ammonium fertilizer and auto explosions, according to Newport Beach deputy district attorney Andrew Katz.

These searches raised concerns that Reinscheid would have followed through on plans allegedly laid out in numerous emails. He was reportedly seeking revenge for his son's suicide after the 14-year-old was disciplined at University High School in Irvine.

The emails, according to Katz, described a plan to attack the high school Reinscheid's son attended, shooting students and administrators, and intending to burn it down afterwards.

Issued Wednesday, prosecutors amended the charges against Reinscheid to include eight counts of arson and one count of attempted arson in multiple places, which included the park where his son committed suicide, the high school, and the home of a school administrator who disciplined his son.

Prosecutors have not charged Reinscheid for making threats mentioned in the emails, but rather are seeking to hold him without bail because of them. He is due back in court on August 15.

Katz told the Associated Press that the additional searches on the computer, "in the people's mind, the prosecution, strengthens the idea that he is following through on the threats that he made in the emails that were previously discovered, and that those threats should be taken seriously."

More on Crimesider
Aug. 2, 2012 - Emails from Rainer Reinscheid, UC professor, detail anger, revenge musings over son's suicideAug. 1, 2012 - Rainer Reinscheid, UC Irvine professor, allegedly plotted mass killings at late son's highschool, police say

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