U.S. Department of Justice
Report to the Deputy Attorney General on the Events at Waco, Texas
February 28 to April 19, 1993
XIII. The Aftermath of the April 19 Fire
B. Processing the Crime Scene
C. Identification of Bodies/Medical Examiner Reports
D. The Arson Investigation
In choosing the products selected, a significant degree of effectiveness may have been sacrificed in favor of safety. In fact, when all factors are considered, including the strong winds, the large openings in the building as a result of the CEV operations, the relative weakness of the tear gas selected, and the use of gas masks by the occupants, the entire gassing operation may be viewed as a failure with the possible exception of a psychological effect. Nevertheless, we are of the opinion that these operations did not contribute to the ignition or spread of the fire.
Finally, the team noted that, based on its investigation, "a great many of the occupants could have escaped to the outside of the compound even as the building burned. . . . [C]onsidering the observable means of exit available, we must assume that many of the occupants were either denied escape from within or refused to leave until escape was not an option."