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FBI link 3 deadly deadly home-delivery explosive packages in Austin, Texas

March 13, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
FBI link 3 deadly deadly home-delivery explosive packages in Austin, Texas

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Authorities say three explosive packages in two weeks are likely connected

FBI officials have revealed an apparent link between three explosive packages left on the doorsteps of Austin residences which resulted in the deaths of two people.

Officials said two of the packages exploded on Monday morning and a third detonated on March 2nd.

Law enforcement officials indicated that they received 34 “suspicious package” calls between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m on Monday, compared to only two received the week before, according to the Austin American-Statesman. Authorities said the two devices that exploded on Monday morning have not been tied to the on-going South by Southwest Festival.

Investigators also noted that the elderly woman who was wounded in Monday’s second explosion is listed in critical condition. Monday’s first detonation led to the death of a 17-year-old and severe injuries to a woman residing in the same home.

“So it was ‘imperative that you come forward if you know something,'” Austin Interim Police Chief Brian Manley said to reporters. “We have innocent people hurt.”

Officers received reports of Monday’s first blast just before 7 a.m. at a residence on the east side of the city. A resident discovered a package on his doorstep and took it into the house. The package exploded when it was opened. The blast killed a 17-year-old male and sent a woman to the hospital with potentially life-threatening injuries.

A few hours later, authorities received a report of another explosion at a residence located roughly five miles away, KXAN reported.

Travis County Emergency Medical Services revealed that they brought a woman in her 70s to a local hospital with potentially life-threatening injuries.

It seems that the packages were not sent through the mail or another delivery service but were dropped on the doorsteps of the homes. Austin Interim Police Chief Brian Manley urged the community not to take bring any package outside their home inside.

Officials have not released any information about the bombs but indicated that they are aware of the type of explosives used.

On March 2nd, a package explosion led to the death of an Austin man in his 40s. The blast took place in northeast Austin–roughly 12 miles north of Monday’s incidents.

At that time, police said they thought that the explosion was an isolated event and is not associated to any terrorist attack. “But we are not making any assumptions,” Chief Manley said. “We are conducting an investigation to rule that out.”

The FBI and ATF are working with Austin Police to investigate the cases. The matter is being reviewed as a homicide. Manley indicated that Monday’s first explosion is comparable to the March 2nd explosion and is “likely related.”

The chief added that he is not ruling out the possibility of a hate crime as at least two of the blast involved black victims.

“We don’t know what the motive may be,” Manley told the press. “We do know that both homes that were the recipients of these packages belong to African-Americans, so we cannot rule out that hate crime is at the core. But we’re not saying that that’s the cause as well.”

Texas Governor Greg Abbott reacted to the news, stating:

“First and foremost, Cecilia and I offer thoughts and prayers to the victims of these atrocious attacks. I want to assure all, and especially those in Austin, that local, state and federal enforcement officials are working to find those responsible for these heinous crimes. As the investigation continues, the State of Texas will provide any resources to ensure the safety of our citizens, and quickly bring those guilty to justice.”

The governor’s office also offered a reward of $15,000 for any information resulting in the identification and arrest of the suspect or suspects involved in these attacks.

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