Officials said no one was injured in the attack. The church had been the target of protests over its messages against women, Jews, L.G.B.T.Q. people and the Black Lives Matter moveme
The F.B.I. and local authorities are investigating a bombing on Saturday morning at a church in Los Angeles County that had recently been the target of protests for its extremist views against L.G.B.T.Q. people, women and the Black Lives Matter movement.
The police responded to reports of an explosion at the church, First Works Baptist Church, in El Monte, Calif., just after 1 a.m. on Saturday.
An “improvised explosive device” was found to be the source of the attack, said Chief David Reynoso of the Police Department in El Monte, which is about 13 miles east of Los Angeles. Officials would not elaborate on what they found.
No one was in the church at the time, and no injuries were reported. The authorities found obscenities and the words “get out” spray-painted on the front of the church, Chief Reynoso said.
Laura Eimiller, a spokeswoman with the F.B.I.’s Los Angeles field office, said that no one had been taken into custody and that it was too early to determine a motive behind the bombing. “We have not ruled anything out,” she said
Ms. Eimiller said that bomb technicians from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office were working with the F.B.I. and its evidence response team to assess the damage.
Chief Reynoso said the church had broken windows but, structurally, the building “does not appear to be damaged.”
About two weeks ago, Bruce Mejia, the pastor of the church, reported to the police that it had received an arson threat on social media, Chief Reynoso said.
The church had been the target of protests, and more than 14,000 people have signed an online petition calling on El Monte’s mayor to recognize the church as a hate group and “take them out of our city.”