A string of deadly package bombs has Austin on edge as authorities ramp up efforts to locate the bomber, including activating hundreds of officers and federal agents, increasing the reward for information, and issuing a public appeal to the bomber. Below is the latest on the developments in the Austin bombing case.
The bombing Sunday evening resulted in two men seriously injured.
Police told the press that two men in their 20s were “seriously injured” by the explosion Sunday evening. In a tweet following a series of alerts, authorities said the two victims’ injuries were “not expected to be life-threatening.”
While the previous bombs were packages placed on the front porches of houses, police said Sunday that the latest bomb was on the side of the road and they believe a “trip wire” might have been used. The two victims were riding or pushing bikes on the road when the bomb exploded.
This is the fourth bombing this month.
The bombing Sunday makes four similar bombings this month, though police have not yet confirmed that the fourth is connected to the previous three. Interim Police Chief Brian Manley told reporters at a press conference on Sunday that they believe the first three bombs were meant to send some sort of message, but the motive remains unclear. “We don’t know what the ideology is behind this or what the motive is behind this,” said Manley.
The previous bombings, one on March 2 and two on March 12, left two people dead (Anthony Stephan House, 39, and Draylen Mason, 17), and two seriously injured, including one woman who is still in critical condition.
Authorities have issued an appeal to the bomber to present his “message.”
At the press conference Sunday, Manley appealed directly to the bomber to come forward and present their “message,” promising that authorities would “listen.”
“These events in Austin have garnered worldwide attention, and we assure you that we are listening. We want to understand what brought you to this point, and we want to listen to you,” he said.
Manley also addressed the threat generally posed by the materials the bomber is using. “No matter how careful you are, the materials used in these devices represent an ongoing hazard and a danger to children and families that may be near the bomb maker,” he said.
Authorities have increased the reward for information that leads to the bomber’s arrest.
Authorities have increased the amount offered as a reward for information leading to the bomber’s arrest to a combined $115,000. On Sunday, the police increased the amount of the reward from $50,000 to $100,000, while Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has offered an additional $15,000.
Over 500 federal agents are on the case.
Manley told the press Sunday that authorities have received over 700 calls about suspicious packages, followed over 400 leads, and conducted over 200 interviews. Over 500 federal agents, including agents from the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, are now on the case.
Police say a man arrested for a bomb threat is not the bomber.
MyStatesmen notes that the news conference Sunday “came a day after a bomb threat was emailed to Fair Market, an East Austin music venue, and forced the cancellation of a South By Southwest performance by the Roots.” On Saturday night, police arrested the suspect, Trevor Weldon Ingram, 26, for making a terroristic threat, but Manley told reporters Sunday that after having thoroughly “looked into” Ingram, they do not believe he is involved in the string of package bombs.