Federal agents will return to Waco today to look over the site that was once the Branch Davidian compound, authorities say.

Agents are scheduled to walk through the remains of the compound area between 8 and 9 a.m., said ATF spokesperson Jack Killorin.

“They had requested quite a while back to come back once it was over,” he said Friday. “Going back is a good part of the healing process.”

On Feb. 28, ATF agents engaged in a deadly shootout with religious sect members. The gunfire killed four agents and wounded 16.

Returning to the scene will help the agents cope with emotional and physical scars that resulted from the gunfire, he said.

Killorin stressed that the visit was not designed to be a public event.

“They’ll be going through with prosecutors, and the media is not to be a part of it,” he said. “They won’t take any questions or make any statements. There will also be no press conference after it’s over.”

At 2 p.m. today, the agents will attend a memorial service at Highland Baptist Church, 3014 Maple Avenue.

“As far as I know the media will not be allowed inside,” said Tommy Tudor, a marketing assistant for Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center.

Hospital officials answered calls concerning the service on Friday.

“There are certain invited guests. That’s what I understand,” he said.

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.