Historically Black Des Moines church experiences bomb threat before Sunday service

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DES MOINES, Iowa — Des Moines police are investigating a bomb threat made against a Black church congregation hours before their worship.

According to the Des Moines Police Department, a person claimed in an online message to a grief counselor that they had placed explosives around Burns United Methodist Church on Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway.

The message was discovered by police at approximately 6 a.m. Sunday, after which authorities told the church about the threat. Burns United Methodist Church moved its services online due to the situation.

Officers searched the area in and around the church immediately after learning of the threat. However, they did not find any explosives.

The Des Moines Police Department believes the person who made the threats does not live in Iowa, but instead somewhere in the West Coast. Police are continuing to investigate the situation.

Burns United Methodist Church could not be reached for comment Sunday evening.

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