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Man accused of detonating small bombs in Ontario Sam’s Club has no link to terrorism; motive remains unknown

Hugo Gonzalez, 49, has been arrested on suspicion of arson and possession of a destructive device.
(Ontario Police Department)

A man accused of detonating explosive devices inside a Sam’s Club in Ontario on Thursday has no known links to terrorism and has offered no motive, police said.

Hugo Gonzalez, 49, of Fontana, was arrested Thursday after police said he set off two explosive devices inside the store, triggering a pair of small fires and prompting an evacuation. No one was injured, and Gonzalez was arrested a short time later after a brief pursuit, according to Ontario Police Sgt. Bill Russell.

Russell said Gonzalez is not connected with any known criminal organizations, nor is he on a terrorist watch list. Gonzalez never worked for Sam’s Club, Russell said, and he did not say why he chose to set off the devices inside the bulk grocery store when interviewed by police, according to Russell.

Investigators did not discover any other explosive devices when they searched Gonzalez’s car, the store and his apartment in Fontana on Thursday night, Russell said. Police, however, did recover materials similar to those used to create the explosive devices, which ignited in two separate places in the store, hel said.

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Russell declined to comment on what Gonzalez used to make the devices, citing concerns about copycat behavior.

Agents with the FBI and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are assisting with the investigation.

Gonzalez is being held at the West Valley Detention Center in lieu of $1-million bail on suspicion of arson and ignition of a destructive device, Russell said.

james.queally@latimes.com

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Twitter: @JamesQueallyLAT


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