Austin serial bomber lays 'more sophisticated' explosives - MRCAESAR.COM

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Monday, 19 March 2018

Austin serial bomber lays 'more sophisticated' explosives


Police plan to fully investigate the explosion as daylight hits Austin on Monday morning. (TAMIR KALIFA/REUTERS)
Austin residents are now at risk of setting off bombs while they walk down the street.
“It is very important that we stay away from anything that can be suspicious,” FBI special agent in charge Christopher Combs said Monday morning. “We need this to stop. We are very concerned that people can get hurt by this just by walking now.”
Two men in their early 20s were injured Sunday night when they triggered a wire that set off an explosive — the fourth to rock the city this month from a suspected “serial bomber.” Both are expected to survive but "receive significant injuries."
“We’ve definitely seen a change in the method this suspect or suspects is using,” Austin interim Police Chief Brian Manley said of the new technology.
Adding to the mystery is the fact that the victims, who are hospitalized in stable condition, are both white.
Victims in the last three blasts, which began on March 2, were either black or Hispanic.
“We won’t understand what the motive might be behind this or the reason behind this until we have an opportunity to talk to the suspect or suspects involved,” Manley said Monday morning.
The section of Austin where the latest blast went off will remain on lockdown until 2 p.m. local time Monday, Manley said.
The blast wounded two male victims, who are expected to survive. (ERIC GAY/AP)
That way investigators can make sure there are no other trip wires around that might set off more bombs.
A trip wire can be activated when someone steps on it or moves something like a package attached to it, said ATF special agent in charge Fred Milanowski.
“This device is a little more sophisticated than what we’ve seen to date,” he said.
Manley said a scan of the newest bomb shows there are “similarities in the devices,” but the wire shows the bombmaker has a “higher level of skill.”
“So now what we are imploring the community to do, if you see any suspicious object or item that looks out of place, do not even approach it,” Manley said.
Despite fielding a few persons of interest, authorities said they’re no closer to identifying who’s behind the rash of explosions.
“We are clearly dealing with a serial bomber,” the police chief said. “We will have to determine if we see a specific ideology.”
Manley implored residents to stay in their homes until police could scour the area to ensure it was safe. (ERIC GAY/AP)
Officials implored whoever is behind the blasts to call and explain the reason behind the explosions.
Cops are still looking into whether the four bombs were linked to terrorism or hate crimes.
The first bombing came on March 2, when 39-year-old Anthony Stephen House after he opened a package at his home. Two more blasts went off on last week, one of which killed 17-year-old Draylen Mason and wounded his 41-year-old mother.
Both victims belonged to the same church, local officials have said.
A Hispanic woman was injured during one of the two March 13 explosions.
Texas officials are offering a combined $115,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest.
Manley, at a Sunday news conference announcing the upgraded reward, said the earlier blasts “were meant to send a message.”  

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