Man Clad as Mechanic Tried to Set Federal Reserve Building Ablaze: Police

A man allegedly attempted to set fire to a U.S. Federal Reserve Bank building while seemingly disguised as a mechanic.

Federal authorities are now investigating the incident, which reportedly took place near the entrance to the Reserve building in Atlanta on Tuesday morning. At around 9 a.m., the man dressed as a mechanic approached the building with two gas cans, police told a reporter from local station WSB-TV.

Using them, he set a small fire, allegedly attempting to set the entire building ablaze. Surveillance footage from the scene was used by police to identify, track down, and ultimately arrest the suspect, whose identity has not been released to the public at this time.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) is on the scene in Atlanta helping carry out the investigation. The Atlanta Police have also reportedly called in help from investigators with the Department of Homeland Security. The suspect’s potential motives remain unknown.

federal reserve atlanta
A man was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly attempting to set fire the Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank. Above, the Federal Reserve Building in Washington, D.C., is seen.
Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla

A spokesperson for the bank in midtown Atlanta confirmed that no employees suffered injuries as a result of the fire and the building suffered only minor smoke damage, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. As of Tuesday afternoon, the outlet had not received any updates from the Atlanta Police Department, but updates on the situation have been promised for later in the day.

“The Atlanta Fed confirms that there was an incident outside our building in Midtown Atlanta on Tuesday morning,” the Federal Reserve Bank said in a statement sent to multiple outlets. “We are thankful for the quick response of the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department and Atlanta Police Department, as well as from our Atlanta Fed law enforcement and facilities teams. No injuries were reported, and the building exterior experienced only minor smoke damage. We are assisting in the investigation. Further updates of the incident will come from the Atlanta Police Department.”

Newsweek reached out to the Atlanta Police Department for an update on this story but did not hear back before publishing.

Another case of attempted arson involving a government-affiliated building played out in Atlanta last week. On the evening of February 6, authorities reported that a “firebomb” device was thrown through the window of Arrington & Phillips, LLP, a law office in southwest Atlanta where Fulton County commissioner, Marvin S. Arrington Jr., also works.

“Apparently they walked up, they were behind the office, so apparently they left a gasoline can and they left a roll of toilet tissue and I assume they had left two or three, or some amount that started the fire,” Arrington told WSB-TV. “So hopefully they will be able to find who did this.”

Authorities responding to the scene were able to extinguish the blaze and no injuries were reported. The Atlanta Fire Department promptly launched an investigation into the matter.

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