EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The Dona Ana County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a possible link between a man who allegedly possessed an explosive device on Wednesday, May 31 near Moongate church and several Las Cruces church bombings that occurred back in 2015.

According to court documents obtained by KTSM, a deputy with the Dona Ana County Sheriff’s Office was patrolling near the Moongate Church area on Wednesday, May 31, and saw a man placing several items into a bag which was directly next to a “gray 8-inch-long galvanized pipe, believed to be a pipe bomb.”

The deputy asked the man who has been identified to be Nathan Wallace, 41 about what the item was to which Wallace said, “It’s not drugs it’s gunpowder.”

A bomb team with the Dona Ana County Sheriff’s Office was later called out to investigate the incident. An official analyzed the device and discovered that it was an “eight-inch-long galvanized pipe with an external end cap on each end,” according to court documents.

One end cap had a hole showing to be approximately 1/8 inch in diameter and when the device was moved, “some flakes came out of the hole consistent with gunpowder,” according to court documents.

Court documents also state that along with the galvanized pipe, a battery bridge wire assembly used for initiation was also discovered, which was found to be “consistent with an explosive device.”

Wallace was then taken in for questioning and was asked why he was in possession of those items, to which he replied, they were “randomly placed” inside his backpack. Wallace was then told that the items were not random and were a “combination of parts necessary to make an explosive device,” according to court documents.

Wallace then said he “knows what it looks like and knows he is not allowed to have it in his possession,” according to court documents. Wallace was charged with possession of an explosive device or incendiary device.

KTSM has reached out to the Sheriff of Dona Ana County Kim Stewart regarding the incident. Stewart said she will not be commenting until forensics are completed on the items recovered, and added they are working to determine Wallace’s whereabouts in August of 2015 during the Holy Cross Church bombing.

The Dona Ana County Sheriff’s Office is currently working with the FBI and ATF.

In addition, the pastor of East Mesa Baptist Church where Wallace was found says he was not aware of the arrest made on church property until he saw it on the news.

“I’m going over to the sheriff’s department tomorrow and one of my purposes is to make sure that they are aware that we want to be informed when these things occur,” said Stephan Kovach, the Interim Pastor of East Mesa Baptist Church. “Thankful no one was injured.”

“God has protected our church and has been very gracious to us and we’re grateful that no one was hurt,” said Kovach.

A man who lives behind the church speaking with KTSM 9 News after hearing about what happened.

“Threatened, very threatened. It’s astonishing actually, to think that it’s so close to home,” said Valentino Orosco who lives near the church.