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Authorities investigate after explosive device reported at Nebraska Chinese Association

Published: Feb. 26, 2021 at 6:23 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - An explosion outside the Nebraska Chinese Association left its members and police scratching their heads.

Officials say someone started a fire Thursday night, but they can’t yet confirm if it was a hate crime because it’s unclear what the intent was. The explosive was detonated on concrete stairs that lead from the sidewalk to the NCA property.

The NCA lends part of its building to Tribe Church, which hosts a bible study on Friday nights.

“Tribe Church is 100 percent behind the Nebraska Chinese Association,” Sebastian Baxter said. “We’re with them, our community, and our hearts are with them.”

Baxter is relieved there’s no damage to the building. A forensics team with the Omaha Police Department searched the property Friday night as police continue their investigation.

The Anti-Defamation League stopped short of calling the incident a hate crime until officials release more information. Its regional director says the explosion was an act of violence.

“It’s important that we share with that community that they have allies, that they have people who will defend and support and fight for the same causes because there’s no place for hate in our society today,” said Gary Nachman, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League.

Until officials find out what the motive was, Nachman says we could all be a better neighbor. If it wasn’t for the NCA, Tribe Church may not have a home to worship.

“We are their neighbor and we’ll do our job to continue loving them,” Baxter said. “That should be our response.”

After meeting members of the NCA, they told 6 News they’ll comment once they know what the intent of the explosion was.

The FBI office in Omaha told 6 News it could neither confirm nor deny if it was investigating. Officials are looking for the person who set off the explosive.

This is a developing story. Stay with 6 News for updates.

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