CALGARY - Calgary police say a package that shut down the courts and a large part of the downtown area had all the elements of an improvised explosive device — except the part that would cause an explosion.

The downtown area around the courthouse was shut down Wednesday for six hours and all court proceedings and trials were cancelled for the day.

Some staff were sent home early.

The suspicious package was spotted during a security check and the person with it was taken into custody.

Police spokesman Kevin Brookwell said Thursday that the package, which was in a wallet, had wires, a battery, a solid substance similar to modelling clay — but no explosive material.

He says there were communications issues with the suspect and a translator was brought in, but they didn't get much co-operation other than a denial that the device was his.

"The item contained all the components necessary for a improvised explosive device. They saw the power source from the battery, they saw the wires and they could also determine this substance," Brookwell said.

He said police made the right call in shutting down the area.

"In this world, it's not run up, grab the bag, shake it and if it doesn't go off we're good to go. There's a of things that have to happen and a lot of processes and protocols and safety measures that have to be taken."

The person taken into custody was released. Police say the investigation is continuing.

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  • Robert Lee

    Looks like the Calgary courthouse is in a lockdown. Block is taped off.

  • Melissa Simpson

    Bomb scare at court house downtown #yyc #Calgary #stayaway #besafe

  • Aaron Bickman

    Bomb threat at the Calgary Court Centre. Our office is on "evacuation alert". Time for a scotch.

  • Jagpreet Shergill

    Suspicious package at calgary Court house. Road closures in area.

  • James Wade

    Going home sick. Just my luck that trains through downtown are shut down. DAMN YOU SUSPICIOUS PACKAGE AT THE CALGARY COURT HOUSE.

  • Kimberley Thurn

    Bomb scare at the Calgary Court House... 2 blocks sealed off. #yyc

  • سمر موسى

    Downtown is closed off due to a suspicious package found in the Calgary Court Building. I hope nothing happens.

  • CamerguyRob

    #YYC traffic being diverted away from Calgary court house. #Suspiciouspackage

  • Duncan

    Looking out office window, Calgary court house appears locked down. Block taped off, police van present. What's going on?

  • Colleen Underwood

    Calgary court ctre closed. Road block. Sheriffs say a suspicious page on scene #

  • Erin Hallahan

    Bomb scare at the Calgary courthouse, one block from where I work! Happy to see @CalgaryPolice taking all the precautions though!

  • Dave Rutherford

    Calgary downtown chaos after suspicious package found at courthouse. Evac underway, cop tape out, transit halted. Covering on air.

  • Pepe Roni

    Lovely. A bomb threat right by my office...