Austin bombings work of serial bomber, police chief says

20 March, 2018, 04:49 | Author: Luis Fowler
  • Paul Sullivan

The fourth explosive detonated shortly after police appealed to the person responsible for the three previous bombings to turn themselves in.

While the packages in the last three bombings seemed targeted - as they were left on doorsteps - this one was placed on the side of the road, Manley said.

"This device is a little more sophisticated than what we have seen", said Fred Milanowski, the special agent in charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Houston division.

Police warned nearby residents to remain indoors on Sunday night as investigators looked for possible links to deadly package bombings elsewhere in the city this month.

Austin Police Chief Brian Manley confirmed in a media briefing Monday that the device that set of an explosion Sunday night in Austin, Texas was detonated after a trip wire was broken by one of the individuals, indicating that the newest device showed "a higher level of sophistication" and skill. The two men are in a stable condition in a hospital but received "significant injuries" as a result of the explosion, authorities said. Police have not determined whether any of the bombings were racially motivated. Two people were killed in those earlier explosions.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler declined to say if the increased reward possibly prompted the latest explosion because "there's not enough data to know that".

On Sunday, police blocked entrances to the neighborhood where the latest blast occurred and put up yellow tape about half a mile from the home where it happened. Two people who were walking on the side of the road were injured.

Investigators said the fourth bomb had similarities to the three parcel bombs. He says concern is growing because "the methodology has changed".

The victims were riding or pushing their bicycles when the explosion went off, Manley said.

Austin Police Chief Brian Manley told reporters during a news conference Monday morning that authorities are not ruling out "domestic terrorism."

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The explosions began March 2 when Anthony Stephan House, 39, was killed after opening a package left on his doorstep.

When asked if the most recent attack is leading authorities to label the bombings as terrorism, the chief responded by saying that the department is still analyzing the crime scenes, and that so far, they believe that they are dealing with a "serial bomber".

Police later said they believe the two incidents are related. Classes were resuming Monday after a week off.

The earlier blasts killed two people and injured two others and happened in other parts of the city. Ten days later, two other package bombs exploded, killing a second person and severely injuring two women. None of the four attacks happened close to the campus near the heart of Austin.

A few hours later, a third bomb injured a 75-year-old Hispanic woman, who has not been identified.

Sunday is the final day of the South By Southwest music festival, which draws hundreds of thousands to Austin every March.

While the first three bombings all occurred east of Interstate 35, a section of town that tends to be more heavily minority and less affluent, Sunday's was west of the highway.

The previous packages were all left at people's homes, authorities said.

With that statement, Mr Manley is very likely following Federal Bureau of Investigation instructions who made a similar appeal to Unabomber, Theodore Kaczynski, who starting in 1978 killed three people and injured more than 20 others with his bombing campaign that went on for 17 years.

Austin's school district announced that buses wouldn't be going into the Travis Country neighborhood.


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