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Man arrested for allegedly setting fire to the Arizona Democratic Party headquarters in Phoenix

Police say 29-year-old Matthew Egler was a volunteer who was banned from the party offices.

PHOENIX — Phoenix police say they arrested a man in connection to the fire at the Arizona Democratic Party headquarters in Phoenix last Friday. 

29-year-old Matthew Egler was arrested on Wednesday morning for arson. Police say Egler was a volunteer who was banned from the party offices.  

The Phoenix Fire Department said firefighters were dispatched to the building near Central Avenue and Thomas Road around 1 a.m. on July 24 for reports of smoke coming from the building.

Previous: Arizona Democratic Party headquarters fire now an arson investigation

There were no injuries and no one was inside the building at the time of the fire. However, there was significant damage caused by the fire. 

Phoenix Fire Investigation Task Force (which includes Phoenix Fire and Phoenix Police personnel), along with assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, were involved in processing the scene.

Investigators released the surveillance video below of Egler allegedly starting the fire.

Surveillance video shows Egler drive a 2009 Pontiac Vibe, which is registered to a family member, to the parking of the building, court records say. 

He then allegedly is seen on camera getting out of the car, taking unknown items from the passenger seat and walking to the employee entrance of the building. 

Police say then he breaks the glass on the door and places an "unknown incendiary device" inside the building and lights it on fire, court paperwork alleges. 

Investigators say a fire immediately erupts inside the building. 

Court documents also allege Egler posted videos on social media admitting to starting the fire. 

Investigators say Elger was upset he was denied the chance to volunteer in his district after he was banned. 

Egler's social media posts also revealed an obsession with Ivanka Trump, the president's daughter. 12 News has learned that the Secret Service is involved.

Arizona Democratic Party Chair Felecia Rotellini issued the following statement with Maricopa County Democratic Party Chair Steven Slugocki: 

"We are deeply saddened and shocked by today's news, but appreciate the swift action by law enforcement to ensure that the suspect is in custody. This is a time for all Arizona Democrats to come together as friends and family. This unfortunate incident will not distract or deter us from achieving the goals we set in 2016. We remain committed to our mission to elect Democrats in November.

Today, Arizona Democrats remain focused on fighting for affordable, quality health care, a robust public education system, keeping Arizonans safe from COVID-19, and rebuilding an economy that works for every Arizonan. 

As we work to navigate the process of finding a new home, we want to express our humble thanks and deep appreciation to all those who have reached out during this challenging time and have made generous donations. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. At this time, we will await further information from law enforcement as this situation develops.” 

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