WASHINGTON — Tipped they may have missed evidence a decade ago, FBI agents searched the former home of convicted Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols and found blasting caps and other explosive materials apparently related to the 1995 attack, officials said Friday.
FBI officials said the material was found buried in a crawl space of the house in Herington, Kan., which wasn't checked by agents during the numerous searches of the property during the original investigation of Nichols and Timothy McVeigh.
"The information so far indicates the items have been there since prior to the Oklahoma City bombing," Agent Gary Johnson said.
FBI spokesman Jeff Lanza said the materials were in boxes, much of them wrapped in plastic, and were being sent to the FBI lab for analysis. The FBI is operating on the assumption the items were from the original Oklahoma plot, he said.
Agents will be looking for fingerprints and other clues that might show where the explosives originated and who may have had them before Nichols.
The discovery, three weeks from the 10th anniversary of the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City, which killed 168 people, is likely to prove an embarrassment to an FBI burned by missteps in this case and the pre-Sept. 11 period.
Nichols is serving multiple life prison sentences. FBI officials said the information that led to the discovery indicated he had buried the items before the attack on April 19, 1995.