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State taking over pipe bomb investigation

Investigators with the Missouri State Fire Marshal’s office were trying to identify the cause of a November house fire when they found the device in the neck of a nearby tree.

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Mo. — State officials are taking over the investigation into who left an apparent pipe bomb near a home in Washington County, Missouri. The device was found Monday in an empty lot near the intersection of Springtown Road and Vintage Road in the Springtown Village area. That’s just outside Potosi. 

Investigators with the Missouri State Fire Marshal’s office were trying to identify the cause of a November house fire when they found the device in the neck of a nearby tree.

The lot where the supposed bomb was found is about 60 yards from the house that burned. And there is a connection between the two.

Louis Culp was arrested and charged on Nov. 29 with arson. Investigators believe he is responsible for the fire that destroyed the home. And Culp owns the property where the suspected pipe bomb was found. 

Culp hasn’t been charged in connection with the bomb. But, investigators are looking into whether he had something to do with it.

5 On Your Side did some digging into Culp’s criminal past. We learned Culp pleaded guilty to stealing a vehicle in 1995 and in 1996 he pleaded guilty to passing a bad check. He was sentenced to five years in prison.

When asked for details about the investigation, the State Fire Marshal’s Office referred 5 On Your side to the Washington County Prosecutor’s office. So far, that call hasn’t been returned.

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