Police searching for suspect in Roanoke County bomb-making, explosives incident

Authorities were at the Villages at Garst Creek Friday after explosives were found there Monday

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – Roanoke County police are searching for a man wanted in connection with an explosives incident earlier this week.

Police obtained warrants for 31-year-old Christopher Kimberling for “manufacture, transport, distribute, possess, or use a firebomb or explosive material or devices.”

“Detectives began an investigation as to where that thing came from, information developed during that investigation that led them back here to the villages, a different building,” said Roanoke County Assistant Police Chief Chuck Mason.

As 10 News has reported, crews were able to safely disable explosives found Monday afternoon inside a safe at the Villages at Garst Creek.

There was a heavy police and SWAT presence at the apartment complex Friday at around 3:30 p.m. as authorities executed a search warrant in connection with the incident. Authorities on scene told 10 News they were looking for explosives, bomb-making materials and narcotics.

“I was asleep, woke up and looked out my patio door and there were police everywhere,” said neighbor James Salmon said about the raid. “One of them had his rifle there, I guess he was loading his rifle, I noticed that, they were all putting their vests and stuff on.”

Bomb technicians took an X-ray of the device on Monday before disabling it. What they initially thought were two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and three sticks of dynamite ended up being modified high power fireworks and other items authorities couldn’t disclose.

This week’s investigation led police to the apartment where they executed the search warrant on Friday afternoon. They also identified Kimberling as a suspect through their investigation.

“They made very significant progress very quickly. That’s why we had the Virginia State Police bomb techs involved. They were a tremendous help,” said Mason.

No arrests have been made.

Anyone with information about this incident or Kimberling’s whereabouts is asked to call the Roanoke County Police Department Dispatch at 540-562-3265.

Police said they’ve had contact with him before, and all signs point to this being an isolated incident, not connected to terrorism.

“The investigation is still in its very early stages, it’s still only four days old at this time, so but right at this moment we don’t have anything that would suggest that,” said Mason.

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