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Man arrested for allegedly posting hate symbols on Pittsburgh synagogue now facing charges related to bomb making

CBS News Live
CBS News Pittsburgh Live

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Police have charged a Pittsburgh man for allegedly having a storage area full of explosives right in his apartment building. 

An investigation of the discovery now involves not only Pittsburgh police and but also the FBI.

According to police, 33-year-old William Murray's landlord found the materials inside his apartment following his eviction. Murray has already been arrested for allegedly inscribing possible hate symbols on the Shaare Torah Synagogue in Squirrel Hill. 

On April 26, police and the bomb squad were called to the apartment in the 5000 block of Forbes Avenue due to suspicious powders being found inside the building. After Murray was evicted, his belongings were placed in the basement. The police were called because miscellaneous white powders had been found in bags among his belongings. 

The landlords called the police, and police determined with the bomb squad that the discovery was "explosive precursors in large quantities," according to the criminal complaint.

In total, police said they recovered 32 separate completed devices and safely destroyed them. 

"He looks like a guy who would be someone who would go and advocate Nazi propaganda," said one of Murray's neighbors, who asked to go unnamed. He said he did not know Murray personally.

According to his neighbor, Murray had been inscribing those same symbols he was arrested for drawing on synagogue doors around the apartment building.

KDKA-TV asked Murray's neighbor if he had seen what he drew inside of the apartment building, and the neighbor said he did.

When interviewed by police, Murray claimed he was making fireworks. 

He is now facing 34 criminal charges including possession of explosive or incendiary materials, causing or risking catastrophe, and multiple counts of making or possessing prohibited weapons.

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