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Former volunteer arrested after fire at Phoenix Democratic Party Headquarters, police say

MatthewEngler.jpg
Posted at 10:59 AM, Jul 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-30 01:20:23-04

PHOENIX — An arrest has been made in connection with the fire set at the Democratic Party Headquarters in Phoenix.

The fire happened after midnight on Friday, July 24 near Central Avenue and Thomas Road.

Police say 29-year-old Matthew Egler was arrested overnight.

Officials say Task Force Investigators were able to link the vehicle from surveillance video to a family member of Egler. The car was found abandoned in Chandler.

Surveillance video shows arson at Phoenix Democratic headquarters

Police say the 29-year-old was a former volunteer at the office but had recently been banned from continued volunteer service.

According to police documents, Egler was also seen on surveillance video breaking the glass doors and “placing an unknown incendiary device inside of the building and lighting it on fire.”

Police say he posted pictures of the fire online and stated, “…listen to what I am saying, and I bombed this building, do you not see that I bombed it.”

He also reportedly posted videos on social media admitting involvement.

He was booked into jail for arson of an occupied structure.

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Arizona Democratic Party Chair Felecia Rotellini issued the following statement Wednesday with Maricopa County Democratic Party Chair Steven Slugocki:

"We are deeply saddened and shocked by today's news, but appreciate the swift action by law enforcement to ensure that the suspect is in custody. This is a time for all Arizona Democrats to come together as friends and family. This unfortunate incident will not distract or deter us from achieving the goals we set in 2016. We remain committed to our mission to elect Democrats in November.

Today, Arizona Democrats remain focused on fighting for affordable, quality health care, a robust public education system, keeping Arizonans safe from COVID-19, and rebuilding an economy that works for every Arizonan.

As we work to navigate the process of finding a new home, we want to express our humble thanks and deep appreciation to all those who have reached out during this challenging time and have made generous donations. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

At this time, we will await further information from law enforcement as this situation develops."