Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

Bombs, many questions -- what we know about Austin box explosions

Bombs, many questions -- what we know about Austin box explosions

The explosions came as Austin, a metropolis of two million people, welcomed some half a million attendees from almost 100 countries for the massive entertainment and media festival South by Southwest. The man and the teenage victim of the explosions are Black and the woman is Hispanic, and investigators have not ruled out the possibility that the incidents were racially motivated.

The City of Austin is on edge as two incidents happened Monday.

The first happened earlier this month when a man opened a package on his doorstep.

The second blast came more than a week later, on Monday morning, and killed a 17-year-old boy. The packages were not delivered by the postal service or delivery services like UPS or FedEx, he said.

"At this point we don't know yet why this is happening or what they motivation is", said Austin Mayor Steve Adler.

He says the package that exploded Monday and the one that detonated on March 2 had been left on the front doorsteps and were not delivered by a mail service.

"Enjoy yourself, have a good time", Manley said.

"We will not tolerate this in Austin", Manley said.

"It was a family home that had God in it", she said. Both incidents are being investigated as homicides.

"There's a certain level of skill and sophistication that whoever is doing this has", Manley said.

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The March 2 blast was reported about 6:55 the 1000 block of Haverford Drive.

While he did not release details of the evidence recovered, he said investigators had identified the type of explosive device used. Austin Police tweeted that they were responding to another explosion in the Montopolis area of the city.

Anyone who finds a suspicious package they were not expecting at their home should stay away from the box and call 911, the chief urged. The blast "sounded like a cannon", said Kenneth Thompson Sr., who lives across the street from the house where the first explosion occurred. "All I could think of, is this could have been us", says Lashonda Jerrels, neighbor.

Lamont Tucker, a longtime resident of the neighbourhood who knew the woman injured in the explosion, heard the blast in the early morning.

Rick Hahn, a retired Federal Bureau of Investigation special agent and counterterrorism consultant, said investigators would probably take a close look at the components used in each bomb to see whether any unique parts can be traced back to a seller or manufacturer, which might lead authorities to the killer or killers.

Key said that while there are many ways to build bombs with easy-to-obtain chemicals and materials, "high explosives", such as dynamite, are harder to come by.

Police were processing the scene at the first Monday explosion when the second occurred. Of the hundreds of calls, APD said nothing suspicious was found.

The ATF is processing evidence from the first device at its lab and evidence from the second device will also be sent to an ATF lab for consistency.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott offered a $15,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person who planted the bombs.

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