PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) – Police say they’ve arrested the man they believe set a fire at the Democratic Party building in downtown Phoenix last week. The Phoenix Police Department identified the suspect as 29-year-old Matthew Egler on Twitter. It also posted surveillance video that investigators say shows Egler setting the fire.
According to police, Egler set the fire just after midnight on Friday, July 24, near Central Avenue and Thomas Road. Police treated the incident as an arson investigation from the beginning.
Court paperwork indicates investigators developed probable cause to arrest Egler at about 12:50 a.m. Wednesday near 83rd avenue and Deer Valley Road.
The Phoenix Police Department released surveillance video that investigators say shows Matthew Egler, 29, setting the fire.
Police discovered video that showed Egler driving a vehicle registered to a family member to the Maricopa County democratic parking lot. Once parked, he takes unknown items from the vehicle to the west side of the building.
Egler is seen on video breaking the glass doors and placing an unknown device inside the building and lighting it on fire.
ARREST MADE: 29-year-old Matthew Egler has been arrested in connection with the fire set to the Democratic Party Headquarters. The fire happened after midnight on Friday, July 24 near Central and Thomas in Downtown Phoenix. The fire caused substantial damage to the building. pic.twitter.com/6cXhOppySA— Phoenix Police (@PhoenixPolice) July 29, 2020
Arizona's Family reporter David Caltabiano found video on Twitter that appears to show Egler confessing to the crime.
In this video, accused arsonist, Matthew Egler confusingly lays out his motive for setting fire to AZ Dem's HQ in PHX. Clearly, mental health is a factor. https://t.co/VIrYWPgHg8— David Caltabiano (@DavidCaltabiano) July 29, 2020
Caltabiano also said he learned from Maricopa County Democrats that Egler served as precinct committee person for the Arizona Democratic Party from 2016 until 2017.
Court documents indicate Egler was banned from volunteering and became upset with the Maricopa County democrats for not allowing him to volunteer. In retaliation, he allegedly set the building on fire.
In another Twitter video, the man who goes by the handle "ValleyLeader" and looks like Egler's mug shot said, "If I get arrested, go bomb the police or go find those people, go kill 'em. Just go kill 'em. It's a war declaration. ... Whoever is responsible, kill 'em." He also says, "I'm your elected official," and claims to have married Ivanka Trump in secret. He referred to her as "Invanka Egler."
"If I get arrested, go bomb the police, go kill em just go kill em all," This man, 29-year-old Matthew Egler is accused of setting fire to the AZ Democratic Party HQ in Phoenix. #azfamily https://t.co/UliPTAHx58— David Caltabiano (@DavidCaltabiano) July 29, 2020
The July 24 fire gutted the building the Democrats' Arizona headquarter.
Our building has been completely ruined. The authorities are continuing their investigation and are labeling this as arson. We are saddened by this act of violence but not deterred. We will flip #MaricopaCounty blue this November. pic.twitter.com/QyPC5C0PWt— Maricopa County Democrats (@MaricopaDems) July 24, 2020
"I have been inside the office and it is unrecognizable," County Chair Steven Slugocki said hours after the fire. "While the rest of the building has some water and smoke damage, the entire contents of our side of the building is a total loss. In addition to office furniture and supplies, all of the technology within the office including laptops, tablets, monitors, and other technology have been destroyed."