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Suspicious mail brings FBI, emergency personnel to LifeWay

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Overreaction to a routine postal investigation brought Federal Bureau of Investigation and Metropolitan Nashville (Tenn.) emergency personnel to the front entrance of LifeWay Christian Resources at noon on Jan. 13.

LifeWay had filed a telephoned report with the local U.S. Post Office on Jan. 13 after a suspicious-looking envelope with no return address was delivered to the Southern Baptist agency.

The contact was part of a LifeWay procedure established after the SBC Executive Committee was the victim of a mailed anthrax hoax last year.

Jim Shull, director of LifeWay’s corporate services department, said, “LifeWay was attempting a safe disposition of the unopened letter.”

He said a contact from someone at the U.S. Post Office to the FBI resulted in an unexpected visit to LifeWay not only from the FBI, but also local fire department and police personnel and public news media.

“LifeWay’s main entrance was secured for approximately 30 minutes by police until the FBI determined there was no emergency,” Shull said. “After following routine procedures, emergency personnel and equipment were removed.”

Shull said the unopened letter would be given to the post office for investigation. Normal procedure would not have brought local emergency personnel to LifeWay unless the situation had warranted such action, he added.

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