tiptrot.com May 27, 2018

Austin Police Say Trip Wire Bomb Triggered Sunday Night Explosion

20 March 2018, 03:19 | Bernice Figueroa

Paul Sullivan

Paul Sullivan

Two people were injured in another explosion in Texas' capital Austin, the fourth mysterious bombing in the city this month, sparking panic among residents and leading authorities to believe that they are dealing with a "serial bomber".

Residents of the neighborhood where the blast occurred were asked to remain in their homes until 10 a.m. Monday to give police time to scour the area for more devices.

The latest explosion was apparently triggered by a trip wire and injured two people on bicycles Sunday, while the previous attacks were explosions in packages.

The three prior bombs were left as packages on doorsteps, while Manley said Sunday's device was different: It was placed on the side of the road.

The two men who died were both involved in activism in the black community and their families actually knew each other.

"With this tripwire, this changes things", said Christopher Combs, special agent in charge of the FBI's San Antonio office.

According to APD Interim Chief Manley, the Austin Police Department has received 435 leads, conducted 236 interviews and has 500 agents working on these investigations.

Authorities also doubled their reward for information leading to an arrest in the case, from $50,000 to $100,000.

The police chief said the tripwire meant it was a more sophisticated device requiring a higher level of skill to construct than the previous bombs.

In a press conference Monday morning, Manley said a tripwire mechanism appears to have been used in the most recent blast.

Four bombs have exploded in Austin this month, and authorities believe they're connected.

Mayor Steve Adler said the latest explosion raised anxieties spreading across the city.

The Sunday night blast was the fourth explosion in less than a month to terrify the almost 1 million residents of Austin. "Any tardies or absences due to this situation will be excused", the district posted on Facebook. "Again do not approach items like that, but instead call 911 to report it so we can go out and make sure it's safe". Manley asked. He said investigators will "have to determine if we see a specific ideology behind this".

Investigators said the tripwire is the main difference between Sunday's attack and the others.

"We've said from the beginning that we're not willing to rule anything out, just because when you rule something out you limit your focus", Manley told ABC. She was in bed watching TV when the incident first happened, she said, but soon her phone "started blowing up" with text from friends who had heard the news.

"What we have seen here is a significant change from what appeared to be three targeted attacks to an attack that could have harmed anyone", Manley said. Police did not allude to the possibility of investigating a hate crime in the fourth explosion.

Those three blasts all happened after someone left explosives-laden packages on the victims' doorsteps.

"There are probably more law enforcement officers per capita in Austin than there has ever been before", Gov. Abbott reported".

"If we continue to live our lives on as normal, which is full of tacos and trying to get along, I think we'll be fine", said Chas Moore, the co-founder and executive director of the Austin Justice Coalition.

"Not a single one of these bombs has exploded without being handled", he said.

"We want to understand what brought you to this point and we want to listen to you". Ten days later, 17-year-old musician Draylen Mason was killed when he opened a package in his East Austin kitchen.

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