Texas launches criminal probe into plant explosion

WACO, Texas (AP) — Texas law enforcement officials are launching a criminal investigation into last month's deadly fertilizer

plant explosion.

Investigators have up to now largely treated the West Fertilizer Co. blast that killed 14 people as an industrial accident.

The Texas Department of Public Safety said in a Friday statement that the agency has instructed the Texas Rangers and the

McLennan County Sheriff's Department to launch a criminal probe.

DPS Director Steven McCraw says in a statement he wants to ensure "no stone goes unturned" in the investigation.

The plant blew up on the night of April 17 after a fire erupted at the facility in the rural town of West.

Paramedic who responded to  blast charged

A Texas paramedic who helped evacuate people on the night of the deadly fertilizer plant explosion in West

is charged with possessing bomb-making materials including a pipe and chemicals.

A criminal complaint unsealed Friday says

Bryce Reed has been charged with possession of a destructive device. Law


officials haven't connected the charge to the fire or the

explosion at the West Fertilizer Co. last month that killed 14 people.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and

Explosives special agent Douglas Kunze says in the complaint that the

McLennan County

Sheriff's Office was called earlier this week to a home near West

where they found a pipe, a variety of chemicals and fuses.

They say the objects belonged to Reed, who didn't enter a plea when he appeared in court Friday.