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Oregon man held on $5 million bail in bombing of prosecutor's office

By Teresa Carson

PORTLAND, Oregon (Reuters) - A man charged with bombing a prosecutor's office in southwestern Oregon last week was ordered held on $5 million bail on Thursday, in a case police said was being investigated as an act of domestic terrorism.

The suspect, Alan Leroy McVay, 46, was arrested on Wednesday and has been charged with manufacturing and possessing a destructive device as well arson, burglary and criminal mischief, the Jackson County District Attorney's Office said.

He is accused of planting a bomb, made from a propane gas tank rigged to a detonator, which exploded in flames outside the district attorney's office last Wednesday in the town of Medford, about 475 miles south of Portland near the California border.

The force of the pre-dawn blast blew out windows and slightly damaged the outside of the single-story brick building, but no one was hurt. The fire went out on its own and the 7-gallon propane canister remained mostly intact.

Medford Police Chief Tim George said afterward that he considered the bombing an act of domestic terrorism, and investigators said they were looking for possible ties to a number of cases the district attorney was prosecuting.

McVay "has pending charges unrelated to this incident that are being prosecuted by the Jackson County District Attorney's Office," that office said in a statement. Authorities have declined to discuss a possible motive for the attack.

The bombing also is under review by the U.S. Attorney's Office for possible federal prosecution. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Portland confirmed this but declined to comment further.

In addition to the Medford police, the FBI, Oregon State Police, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Jackson County Sheriff's office have been involved in the investigation.

McVay was arrested without incident in the parking lot of a pizza restaurant in nearby White City, prosecutors said.

He initially was jailed on $1 million bail, but his bond was raised to $5 million by a judge and a preliminary hearing in the case was set for November 29, according to Chief Deputy District Attorney Jeremy Markiewicz.

(Reporting by Teresa Carson; Editing by Steve Gorman and Christopher Wilson)

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