1 year since Beaver Dam explosion, questions remain unanswered about bomb-making suspect

Explosion at Beaver Dam residence

BEAVER DAM -- On March 5, 2018, an unimaginable explosion in Beaver Dam killed a man in his apartment and forced 100 people out of their homes. A year later, investigators remained puzzled over what 28-year-old Benjamin Morrow had planned for the explosives he was reportedly creating inside his apartment.

"Things didn't add up. Things didn't look right," said Beaver Dam Police Chief John Kreuziger. "There was a lot of evidence at the scene that made this look suspicious and look different than a regular explosion. That day, what was going through my mind was, 'Hopefully no one else gets hurt.'"

Authorities discovered a series of dangerous chemicals in Morrow's apartment following the explosion. They decided the safest thing to do was destroy it in a controlled burn. Two weeks after the initial blast, the building was burned to the ground.

Thousands of dollars were raised at a community event to help the displaced residents move forward.

"I guess it just reinforces the fact that it could happen anywhere," said Dave Austin.

Controlled detonation of volatile chemicals at Beaver Dam apartment

Benjamin Morrow

Since that time, investigators have learned a lot about Morrow, who they said created a homemade explosives laboratory in his apartment complete with several firearms, ammunition and TATP -- a material used in bomb-making.

Investigators said his co-workers told them Morrow "was always talking about different types of chemicals." They said Morrow often smelled like moth balls, which his supervisor noted contain an explosive material.

Investigators also said Morrow had a storage unit that he opened just weeks before the explosion, but had informed the company that he would be out of the unit by March 31.

The investigation never revealed a motive.

Beaver Dam Police Chief John Kreuziger

"We will never know. I don't think we'll ever know his plans," said Chief Kreuziger. "I wish we had the answers."

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