ARLINGTON, Va. (NEWSnet/AP) — A man who died in a house explosion in December of last year outside the nation’s capital deliberately detonated gasoline canisters in his basement that caused the blast, authorities said Friday.

Arlington County police in Virginia went to the home of 56-year-old James Yoo on Dec. 4 because he was firing a flare gun from the back of his duplex into a nearby school and park, police said Friday at a news conference announcing the cause of the explosion.

Police tried unsuccessfully to make contact with Yoo. They got a search warrant and used an armored vehicle to knock through his front door. Officers then heard gunshots, and a few minutes later the entire house exploded.

Authorities said a specific motive is unknown, though the investigation turned up evidence of paranoia and mental health problems.

The case has no ties to terrorism, and Yoo acted alone, a FBI counterterrorism agent said.

Authorities had previously disclosed that Yoo had exhibited erratic behavior and frequently contacted the FBI alleging that he was a victim of schemes and frauds. Court records show he also filed federal lawsuits that were dismissed as frivolous.

Investigators concluded that Yoo intended to start the fire that caused the explosion, an agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said Friday. Investigators found gasoline canisters with 35 gallons of capacity stored in his basement.

The agent said they could not conclude exactly how he ignited the fire and explosion, and said it could have been caused by gunshots igniting gasoline vapors or simply by a match or lighter.

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