U.S. Rep. Chet Edwards’ office forwarded a complaint about the Branch Davidian compound at Mount Carmel to the FBI in April 1992, Edwards told reporters Monday.

Edwards said his office received a detailed, 12-page letter from a former cult member in that month that spelled out several areas of concern.

“We had in fact a letter from somebody who had been in the cult – a cult member who outlined in great detail some of the sexual problems and some of the situations in regard to some of the gun there and went into rather specific detail about his concerns about the situation,” Edwards said. “I didn’t feel it was appropriate for me to take action, but we did pass that along.

“My office contacted federal authorities last April and again early this year,” Edwards said.

The Waco Democrat said his office did not get a response either time, but he said didn’t really expect one.

“Frankly, if federal authorities were in the process of investigating a case such as this, I wouldn’t expect them to write a member of Congress and say, ‘We’re in the process of investigating this,’” Edwards said. “I would expect them to say nothing and try to keep it as secret as possible.”

Edwards said he contacted federal authorities but declined to say if he passed the information to local law enforcement.

“Let’s just leave it at the FBI for now,” Edwards told reporters after visiting fallen Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents at Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center.

Edwards’ referral is the latest in a list of complaints that have filtered into local, state and federal law enforcement officials about the Branch Davidian compound at Mount Carmel.

A private investigator reported meeting with county, state and federal authorities in September 1990, bringing with him from Australia sworn affidavits from former cult members detailing charges of deviant sex and weapon violations, but no action was taken.

Similar evidence was used to obtain an order keeping a child away from cult leader Vernon Howell in Michigan in February 1992.

Read the Tribune-Herald's 7-part investigative series on the inner workings of the Branch Davidians. Hours after Part 2 appeared in print, the ATF raided the group's compound.

Read the Tribune-Herald’s account of the ATF raid on the Branch Davidian compound on Feb. 28, 1993. Four ATF agents and six in the compound were killed in the gunfight.

Read the daily news accounts of the 51-day siege at the Branch Davidian compound near Elk, which began Feb. 28 and lasted until April.

April 19 and beyond: FBI agents began inserting canisters of tear gas into the Branch Davidian compound in the early morning hours. By noon, it was on fire.

Federal officials left the compound site in late May 1993. As identifications of bodies continued, questions about the survivors, the compound and the cult itself began to emerge.

As the world began to take a critical look back at the events and legal proceedings continue, the ATF's bombshell report forces a shakeup at the top after the raid gone "tragically wrong."

In 1994, the surviving Davidians went on trial in San Antonio. Over six weeks, more than 140 witnesses testified, with the verdict coming just two days prior to the anniversary of the ATF raid.

The Rodenville shootout and the 1988 trial, the end of the world in 1959 and more stories from deep in the Trib archives.