Federal agents arrested a suspected pipe-bomber in Dubuque this morning. The man identified as 42-year-old John Tomkins of Dubuque allegedly sent 15 threatening letters to banks, investment firms and other financial institutions across the Midwest over the past two years.
Authorities say Tomkins also sent two pipe bombs, neither of which went off, to businesses in Chicago and Kansas City. Tomkins reportedly signed the letters "The Bishop" and they were said to contain Biblical references to heaven, hell and Satan.
Postal inspectors say the two pipe bombs were mailed from a post office in Rolling Meadows, a Chicago suburb. Tomkins is a machinist and was arrested on his way to work at Dubuque manufacturing company.
Kate Lawrence, a U.S. Postal Service inspector, says: "The charges in the complaint, which was just unsealed, he’s being arrested. We believe him to be The Bishop, the person who calls himself The Bishop. The charges will have to do with the threat letters and the parcel bombs that he sent through the mail."
She says: "We’ve taken him into custody. He was interviewed by postal inspectors. This is a joint investigation between ourselves, the ATF, the FBI and the FCC." Lawrence says the authorities are still gathering evidence in the case from two locations in Dubuque.
She says "We’re executing two search warrants, one at his residence and one at a storage locker nearby that was under his control. He was interviewed this morning and based on the outcome of this interview, he’s already being transported to Chicago for his initial appearance."