The FBI broadened its search Thursday for the saboteur who derailed an Amtrak train, checking tire tracks in the desert several miles away, knocking on doors in the sparsely populated area and interviewing railroad employees.
About 40 of the 90 agents who have been working near the site of Monday’s crash fanned out to interview residents and others, said Robert Walsh, the FBI agent running the investigation.
About 20 other agents were sent back to their home offices from the crash scene 55 miles southwest of Phoenix, where Amtrak’s Sunset Limited derailed on a sabotaged stretch of track and tumbled into a gulch. One crew member was killed and at least 78 people were injured.
The saboteur unbolted a bar that holds two rails together, loosened or removed spikes and used a wire to bypass a system intended to warn crews of a break in the track.
Copies of a letter alluding to the federal sieges at Waco, Texas, and Ruby Ridge, Idaho, and signed “Sons of Gestapo” were found at the scene.
The FBI has been given access to Amtrak personnel records, according to the railroad. Walsh refused to comment on that, but said agents were interviewing employees of the rail company and Southern Pacific Railroad, which owns the track.
He cautioned against interpreting that to mean investigators have fixed on the theory the saboteur was a disgruntled railroad employee.
Agents also have collected infor mation on anti-government militia groups, he said, again warning against concluding the FBI is leaning toward that theory.