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Man Confesses To Bottle Bombings That Rocked Local Movie Theaters

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"Moviegoers can indeed rest easier with the arrest of 20-year-old suspect Manuel Joyner Bell Jr., also know as Manuel Joyner," said Prince George's County Fire Chief Marc Bashoor.
Prince George's County Fire and EMS via http://pgfdpio.blogspot.com/
"Moviegoers can indeed rest easier with the arrest of 20-year-old suspect Manuel Joyner Bell Jr., also know as Manuel Joyner," said Prince George's County Fire Chief Marc Bashoor.

A man has confessed to setting off a series of "bottle bombs" at five movie theaters in Virginia and Maryland.

The series of explosions began on the weekend of May 17 when two of the caustic devices went off inside the lobby of the Tysons Corner 16 movie theater. A week later, police were called for a similar explosion at the same location just hours after a bottle bomb detonated inside the AMC Magic Johnson theater in Largo, Maryland. Today, authorities from multiple jurisdictions gathered at that site to talk about the weekend arrest of a suspect in the case.

"Moviegoers can indeed rest easier with the arrest of 20-year-old suspect Manuel Joyner Bell Jr., also know as Manuel Joyner," said Prince George's County Fire Chief Marc Bashoor.

Although Joyner is only suspected in the Arundel Mills incident, police say he's also charged with similar events in theaters in Alexandria and Silver Spring. According to Prince George's County Fire Marshal Brian Radinsky, Joyner was arrested Saturday in Bowie, Maryland, not far from the Home Depot where he worked.

Fairfax Virginia Deputy chief Mike Rowley says the challenge for investigators was to track and catch a suspect who was committing the same crime across different jurisdictions.

“Across jurisdictional lines, we have different lines that we have to go by, but if you have a suspect that’s crossing these lines and is doing multiple events it really is very helpful to be able to compare notes to make sure we've dotted all the ‘I’s and crossed the ‘T’s and ensuring that a suspect doesn’t get away by simply crossing jurisdictional lines," Rowley says.

Joyner was interviewed at Prince George's County police headquarters by investigators and members of the task force, and he admitted to his involvement in all incidents, Bashoor said. He was charged with manufacturing, possession and detonation of a destructive device, and more charges may be on the way.

Joyner was initially held on $50 million bail, but a judge dropped bail at a hearing late today. Joyner is now being held without bond.

Meanwhile, investigators are executing a search warrant at a home in the 600 block of Stillwater Place in Bowie in connection with the case.

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