Tennessee authorities, FBI investigating ‘concerning’ letters left at churches

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Authorities in Tennessee and the FBI are investigating “concerning” letters left on the front door of several churches, a Masonic lodge and a business, they said Monday. 

Campbell County Sheriff Robbie Goins said his agency has been aware of the letters since Thursday but there were no specific threats made. As of Monday, seven letters were found, he said. 

They were left at five at local Baptist churches, one at a Jellico business and one at a masonic lodge.

Goins said there were rumors that a possible shooting was planned. He did not provide details on what was written in the typed-up letters. 

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The Campbell County Sheriff's Office said several "concerning" letters were left at local churches, a lodge and business. The letters prompted extra police patrols in the community, officials said Monday.

The Campbell County Sheriff’s Office said several “concerning” letters were left at local churches, a lodge and business. The letters prompted extra police patrols in the community, officials said Monday.
(Campbell County Sheriff’s Office)

“We had some disturbing things in these letters but there’s nothing specific,” Goins said. Responsing to rumors of a shooting in the works, he said, “I don’t know how that got started, because it’s not true.”

As a precaution, there were extra law enforcement patrols near the churches throughout Sunday, he said. 

Authorities have been discussing the letters with the FBI and state authorities. Investigators are reviewing surveillance video at one location that received a letter, Goins said. 

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“We want to know about these letters if you find any,” he said. “We want to know that we’re safe. We want to know that our people are safe. At this point, I think we are, but we are not going to take any chances.”

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