Device explodes at FedEx facility in Texas

Marsha Scott
March 21, 2018

United States authorities are investigating whether a parcel bomb that exploded at a FedEx depot in Texas on Tuesday is connected to a suspected serial bomber. One worker was treated for injuries.

The explosion came just hours after police made a direct public appeal to the person or persons who carried out the previous bombings to come forward.

In Austin, Texas, investigators are trying to figure out why someone is targeting the city with a series of bombs.

How did the bombings start? One female employee sustained a concussion when the package detonated.

Anthony Stephan House, 39, died from injuries he suffered after opening the package.

It was initially feared the bomber could have a racist motive, as the first three bombs killed two African American men, and injured an elderly Hispanic lady.

The sites and the people targeted might offer some link to the perpetrator, but absent a smoking-gun video of someone dropping off a suspicious package, the bombs themselves may hold the greatest potential to unlock the mystery.

Both explosions occurred the same week of the South by Southwest music, film and technology festival, which draws hundreds of thousands of participants to the city every year. "It appears that the source of the suspect packages was a private package delivery office in Sunset Valley".

Manley also urged residents to call police with any tips they may have. "We went out and heard all the sirens, but it was eerie".

How the fourth and fifth bombings complicated the investigation.

ATF Special Agent Fred Milanowski said a trip wire bomb uses a wire, and when pressure is placed on the wire, it detonates a device; it could be as simple as tripping over the wire or picking up a package, he explained Monday.

Police later said the victims were in good condition.

"I will reach out to the suspect or suspects and ask that you contact us... communicate with us so that we can put this to an end", Manley said. This is because the bomb was activated by a tripwire set alongside a roadway.

But Manley said Sunday's bombing also seriously wounded two white men aged 22 and 23 as they walked in a quiet residential neighbourhood.

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He said that the specific components in the devices make investigators believe they are all related.

The self-professed Austin bomber denied suggestions that the attacks are racially motivated.

The most recent blast happened inside a FedEx facility in Schertz, Texas, FBI San Antonio spokeswoman Michelle Lee said.

It was reportedly headed to Austin on a conveyor truck when it exploded.

"We've been through hard times before", Mayor Steve Adler said stoically this morning.

"What I'm being told by federal law enforcement officials is that preliminary reports and preliminary evidence shows that this package was being shipped from an Austin address to an Austin address and would have required some sort of activity at this facility in Schertz", said KVUE reporter Tony Plohetski in a phone interview on KVUE Daybreak.

"We're confident that neither this facility nor any location in the Schertz area was the target", Hansen said.

Earlier Austin police deployed a hazardous materials squad to a FedEx shipping facility near the city's airport to investigate reports of a suspicious package.

Officers and Federal Bureau of Investigation agents are on scene near a FedEx store on Brodie Lane. Despite the similarities noted between the bombings, police have stopped short of giving a greater understanding of the intention behind these bombings.

"Is this terrorism? Is it hate-related?"

The Houston division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, along with FBI San Antonio said they were responding with Austin police to the scene.

The reward for information leading to the arrest of anyone responsible for the blasts totals $115,000.

"We have no clue who this is, absolutely no clue", Texas Congressman Brian Babin told the Fox Business Network.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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