"We used those emails to argue in court that he should be held without bail," she said. "The emails on their own, just by themselves, don't amount to a crime that can be charged. They're just very alarming in light of the fact that he's setting these fires, clearly acting out on some of his dangerous inclinations and we were concerned that he would have followed through on these plans as well."
Emami said that authorities do not believe Reinscheid was in possession of any weapons, but that he wrote in the emails that "he intended to obtain them." She said he did not specify a date or timeline for the attacks.
Doerte Reinscheid said she has been shocked to see the news about her ex-husband. The German couple came to the U.S. in 1999 and divorced in 2003. They were married for six years.
"I've known him for so long and he's been so successful," she said incredulously. "It's crazy. It's too crazy. He's going nuts."
Reinscheid has been an associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences at UC Irvine for 12 years, according to UC Irvine spokeswoman Cathy Lawhon.
Lawhon told ABCNews.com that Reinscheid is "still employed," but could not comment on whether an internal investigation was occurring, citing personnel confidentiality issues.
The university sent out an internal email when Reinscheid was arrested.
"The university takes safety seriously and is cooperating fully with authorities regarding this matter," the message said. "Our thoughts go out to those affected by this tragic chain of events. As you can imagine with any personnel or legal matter, we cannot provide extensive information. We can assure you, however, that our campus will continue to do everything possible to foster a safe environment for our faculty, students and staff."
On Tuesday, Reinscheid was charged with five felony counts of arson, one felony count of attempted arson and one misdemeanor count of resisting or obstructing an officer. If convicted, he could face a maximum sentence of nearly 13 years.
Reinscheid's attorney Ron Cordova did not immediately respond to request for comment.