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.

Matthew Egler

Matthew Egler, 29, was arrested Wednesday, July 29, in connection to an arson at the Democratic headquarters in downtown Phoenix.

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.

Overnight fire at Arizona Democratic Party headquarters set on purpose, police say

Court paperwork indicates investigators developed probable cause to arrest Egler at about 12:50 a.m. Wednesday near 83rd avenue and Deer Valley Road. 

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. 

Arizona's Family reporter David Caltabiano found video on Twitter that appears to show Egler confessing to the crime.

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."

The July 24 fire gutted the building the Democrats' Arizona headquarter.

Democratic HQ Fire

"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."

 

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