WACO, Texas (AP) — A first responder who helped evacuate people ahead of a deadly explosion at a Texas fertilizer plant pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a charge he possessed bomb-making materials.
Bryce Reed was arrested last week and indicted Tuesday on a charge of possessing an unregistered firearm. Authorities have not announced any link between Reed and the April 17 blast in West, Texas, which killed 14 people.
Federal investigators allege Reed had materials for a pipe bomb that he gave to someone else. An agent from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives wrote in a court filing that other investigators told him Reed admitted to having the bomb parts.
Reed's attorney, Jonathan Sibley, said that he agreed with prosecutors to postpone a previously scheduled detention hearing, but would not comment on why. Reed remains in custody.
"We dispute the allegations against him," Sibley told reporters outside the federal courthouse in Waco, about 15 miles south of West.
He also called on federal authorities either to present evidence connecting Reed to the explosion or to say he wasn't connected. The McLennan County Sheriff's Office said Friday that no evidence suggesting a link has been found so far.
"If they have something, let's hear it," Sibley said. "If they don't, let's hear it."
ATF and the Texas State Fire Marshal's Office are scheduled to release findings of their month-long investigation Thursday afternoon.
"The investigation is ongoing and it would be premature to speculate at this time," ATF spokeswoman Franceska Perot said Wednesday.
Reed's trial was scheduled to begin July 15.
Reed became a well-known media figure after the explosion, talking at length about his relationship with Cyrus Reed, a first responder killed in the blast. Although the two weren't related, Bryce Reed frequently referred to Cyrus as his "brother" during interviews and an emotional video played during the memorial for dead first responders at Baylor University.
"My brother and all those who lay with him are heroes now and forever," Bryce Reed said.
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