20 March, 2018
The hunt for the serial bomber who has been leaving deadly explosives in packages on Austin doorsteps took a new, more sinister turn Monday when investigators said the fourth and latest blast was triggered along a street by a almost invisible tripwire.
The latest of four bombings in the Austin area in the past 16 days has a "higher level of sophistication" than the previous three, according to an update from Austin Interim Police Chief Brian Manley.
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.
Cops say they believe the device is linked to three previous package bombs that killed a man, teenage boy and injured an elderly lady in Austin.
Police later said the victims were in good condition.
FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs said the use of a tripwire alters how the bombs are being investigated, changing it from "a more targeted approach to a more random approach".
"All my army friends, we know the experience and we've been through training-pay attention to your surroundings, don't touch things".
At this point, Adler said police are not ruling out any motives or suspects for the bombings.
On Sunday, Manley announced a reward of $100,000 for information leading to the arrest of the person or people responsible. Gov. "Because when you do, you limit your focus", Manley said.
Since the explosions occurred, Manley said the Austin Police Department has gotten 735 reports of suspicious packages, and investigators have logged 236 interviews, and checked out 435 leads.
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The explosions happened far from the main South By Southwest festivities, though a separate bomb threat Saturday led Bud Light to cancel a downtown concert by hip-hop band The Roots. Investigators said it may have been detonated by a trip wire.
Two men in their 20s were hurt in the latest blast. "We're one of the safest cities in the country now dealing with some pretty horrific events and I think the important message right now is just to tell people if you see anything that is in anyway suspicious just don't go near it and call 911".
"Once we go in and do the post-blast analysis in the morning, we'll have a better idea if the components of this device are similar to the other components and it ultimately may rely on the results from a laboratory examination to come to a final confirmation of that". "We're very concerned that with tripwires a child could be walking down a sidewalk and hit something".
Thad Holt, 76, said he is now watching his steps as he makes his way through a section of town near the latest attack.
"That anxiousness is going to continue until we can find the answer", Mr Adler said. Two bomb technicians and a bomb canine from SAPD will travel to Austin to help with the investigation of the bombings that have kept Austin on edge.
Stan Malachowski, who lives about half a mile away, said he heard a loud explosion.
The three previous bombs were triggered by victims handling packages left on doorsteps.
"There are probably more law enforcement officers per capita in Austin than there has ever been before", Gov. Abbott reported".
"Not a single one of these bombs has exploded without being handled", he said.
Mr House was killed on 2 March in an explosion that also damaged a wall and door, while Mr Mason, a promising young musician, died on 12 March.