Law-enforcement officials Friday disclosed the text of a typewritten note found near the Amtrak train that was derailed in the Arizona desert early Monday and said they hoped that someone would recognize something about it and come forward.
The note suggests that federal agents who laid siege to the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas, two years ago intentionally spread the fire that ultimately killed more than 80 people there.
No suspects have been identified in the derailment, and the note, which officials had described in only general terms shortly afterward, remains the most significant piece of evidence. Officials do not know whether it is a ruse, however, or reflects genuine anti-government hostility by its author.
The note, several copies of which were found near the derailed train, refers to one of the videotapes circulated by some of those critics in an effort to demonstrate that the government, not the Davidians, was responsible for the fire.
The note was signed “Sons of the Gestapo,” whom law-enforcement officials say they have never heard of before.
As federal agents Friday wrapped up their search of the crime scene, Amtrak announced a $30,000 reward for information that cracks the case, in addition to the $20,000 offered by state and local authorities.
One person died in the derailment and 77 were injured.