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Maumelle PD: house was "wired to explode" by woman's estranged husband

Maumelle police believe Robert David Tackett wired a home on Creek Valley Lane to explode on Tuesday. ATF agents were able to disarm devices found inside before timers went off. (Photo: KATV)

A Maumelle man is now in jail after being tracked down by multiple law enforcement agencies for an alleged plan to blow up a house.

On Tuesday, KATV originally reported that Robert David Tackett was being sought as a person of interest in an attempted arson case.

Police said Tackett would be driving a 2016 gray Ford F-150, pulling a Sun Tracker pontoon boat.

Arkansas Game and Fish officials located Tackett in his boat out on Lake Ouachita Thursday morning. Arkansas State Police used a helicopter to help in the search, while Montgomery County Sheriff's Office made the actual arrest.

Monday, Tackett's wife called police to her shop Morningside Bagels in North Little Rock, saying they were going through a divorce and Tackett might be looking for her.

According to a police report, seating booths had been sliced open, equipment was broken and bent, and glass fixtures were broken.

The wife asked officers to check the house they're selling at 107 Creek Valley Lane for damage also.

When she made it to the house, she had the wrong key.

Once she returned to the house on Tuesday, she smelled gas after she opened the door, then called 911.

A police officer responding to the call could smell gas from the driveway.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms was called after officers made a terrifying discovery inside.

"They found four separate ignition points in the house with--all set with gasoline that was attached to timers, so the house was wired to explode," said Capt. Jim Hansard with the Maumelle Police Department.

Investigators arrived on scene at 10:40 a.m., and Hansard said it was "a matter of hours" before the devices were set to detonate.

Police had to evacuate several houses near the property.

Jacob Caudle lives right next door and came home concerned after getting a call from his mother telling him to stay away from the area.

"The cops knocked on the door and told her she had to leave because it was dangerous at the time," said Caudle.

Caudle says neighbors were wondering what happened.

"It was all roped off [with] caution tape," said Caudle. "There were tons of cops, fire department and ATF out here."

If an explosion would have occurred, investigators believe multiple houses would have been destroyed.

"They said it would be gone, and the house next to us would be gone too if it went off," said Caudle. "And most likely if anyone was in the house we'd be dead."

"It would have been a horrific fire endangering many people," said Hansard.

Police don't believe Tackett was trying to kill his wife. Instead, they think he was only trying to destroy property.

Tackett is charged with criminal attempt to commit arson.

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