FBI, Tempe Police investigating bomb threat aimed at business that hosted drag story hour, mayor says

Tempe Mayor Corey Woods said the city's police department, along with the FBI, are actively investigating a bomb thereat incident that targeted a business in the East Valley city.

In a statement released on Feb. 20, Mayor Woods said the bomb threat was called in by a hate group during a drag story hour event at a business.

"In just a couple of years, the business that was targeted has hosted public forums, raised funds for several non-profits and so much more. Their events are always well-attended, open to everyone and intended to bring people together," read a portion of the statement by Mayor Woods.

In the same statement, Mayor Woods condemned the bomb that incident.

"In Tempe we celebrate, respect and protect our diverse communities and businesses. We do not tolerate hate toward our LGBTQ community and we stand up for the people and businesses who champion inclusion. My office is committed to advancing and advocating for a community of kindness, compassion, and understanding for everyone," read a portion of the statement.

Business responds

While Mayor Woods' statement did not identify the business affected by the bomb threat, according to social media posts made in recent days, a business named Brick Road Coffee, located near Rural Road and US-60, was planning to host a drag story hour event on Feb. 19.

On Feb. 14, officials with the coffee shop posted that they are aware of protest plans surrounding the show, and said at the time that they have a security plan with organizations involved.

We reached out to Brick Road Coffee on Feb. 20, and the owners provided a statement that reads:

"We are incredibly grateful for the outpouring of love and support we have received. Authorities have advised us not to comment on an active criminal investigation. We want to assure everyone that we have taken all necessary precautions and are working closely and collaboratively with the FBI and Tempe Police to remain focused and ensure everyone’s safety.  Since we opened, we have always been dedicated to creating a safe and welcoming space for all. We will continue to provide that to the community we love. Thank you to so many for your love, support, and concern. We appreciate you."

Anti-drag bills proposed in Arizona State Legislature

There has been a push against drag performances in Arizona by some politicians, with a proposed bill at the Arizona State Legislature that aims to define drag performances as "adult cabernet," and making drag performances illegal on public property, or in a location where the performance can be viewed by a children.

Violators of the law, should it be approved and signed into law, could face a maximum six-month prison sentence, along with a fine of up to $2,500.

Another proposed bill would limit the days, hours and locations for where the shows would happen.

It is unclear whether Gov. Katie Hobbs would sign or veto the bill. However, in her State of the State address, Gov. Hobbs said that "chasing conspiracy theories, pushing agendas for special interests, attacking the rights of your fellow Arizonans or seeking to further undermine our democracy will lead nowhere."

Nationally, there were a number of drag events that have been targeted by protests or threats, including in Orlando, Fla. and Eugene, Ore. One event in the San Francisco Bay Area was even stormed by a group of people associated with the group Proud Boys, according to reports from our sister station, KTVU.

The Proud Boys is classified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group.

Read More Arizona Crime Stories