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BURLEY — The Cassia County Sheriff’s Office has found the pickup truck of a person wanted in connection with Monday’s downtown fire and bomb planted nearby.

The bomb’s fuse had been lit, but it did not explode.

Cassia County Undersheriff George Warrell said the white Nissan truck was found at 2:30 a.m. Tuesday.

No arrests have been made, and it’s not clear if police are seeking the driver as a witness or a suspect.

The fire gutted the building at 1222 Overland Ave., and the pipe bomb was found across the street tucked in the door handle of a new unopened business, Kassiani Restaurant, Bakery and Events, 1229 Overland Ave.

The restaurant is owned by businessman Brek Pilling and his business partner Brian Tibbets owns the burned buildings. He also owns the building south of the one consumed in the fire, which was also damaged by smoke and water.

Burley Fire Department Chief Shannon Tolman said both vacant buildings are a total loss.

Firefighters found the bomb while working on the fire.

“The vehicle was found at a Burley location. We’re not releasing any more information at this point,” Warrell said.

The sheriff’s office is working with the state fire marshal and federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in the investigation.

“We’re trying to put all the pieces together at this point,” Warrell said.

One thing appears to be clear to investigators: The fire was an arson.

“The cause of the fire at this point is only speculation,” he said.

The 911 call reporting the fire came in at 1 a.m. Monday.

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Fire crews were at the building through the night and most of the day, removing debris and looking for evidence by the afternoon.

Tolman, the fire chief, said the department sprayed about 100,000 gallons of water. The basement of the burned building is full of water.

The southbound lane on Overland Avenue in front of the building and the building next door was still cordoned off Tuesday, with debris piled on the sidewalk.

On Monday, a two-block section stretching from Main Street to 14th Street on Overland Avenue was closed to traffic and pedestrians while the bomb was detonated by explosives experts from Twin Falls.

Late Monday, authorities released photos of the pickup truck and asked for the public’s help finding it. It wasn’t immediately clear Tuesday what led authorities to the vehicle.

Police also released photos of the capped pipe bomb found at the restaurant.

The sheriff’s office asks that anyone with information about the fire or attempted bombing call 208-878-2252.

For an earlier report on the incident, click here.


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