Residents of Austin were terrified by a fourth explosion that detonated on Sunday night, injuring two people. Although police believe this attack may still be connected to the three previous bombs, this differed as it was possibly triggered by a trip wire.
Just hours after Austin Police Chief Brian Manley urged the suspect or suspects connected to the string of package bombings that killed two Black men, the fourth explosion was reported, according to ABC News.
Chief Manley doubled the reward for information leading to an arrest to $115,000.
While speaking with ABC's Good Morning America, Manley said the most recent bombing "has a little bit of a different characteristic" from the three previous devices that were placed in packages and left on doorsteps.
Despite the difference in execution, Manley addressed reporters at a late night press conference and said his police department is still “working under the belief that this is related to the other bombing incidents that have occurred in our community over the last week and a half.”
Sunday’s explosion occurred after two men detonated a package bomb as they passed on their bicycles, police said early Monday morning. According to Manley, the package that went off Sunday was left by the side and may have been triggered by a trip wire.
According to St. David’s South Austin Medical Center, the two victims were taken there for treatment and are in good condition.
While speaking on GMA, Manley revealed Sunday’s victims were both white males in their 20s, while the previous blast victims were Black or Hispanic. Although these victims were white, Manley believes race could still be a factor in the bombings.
"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 said. "So this does change the concerns that we had initially although we have still not ruled it out until we understand what the ideology and motive is behind the suspect or suspects."
Manley said that officials know the person responsible is a "sophisticated" bomb maker. He also said the suspect is trying to send "a message," but authorities have not yet determined what it was.
“We assure you that we are listening," he said. "We want to understand what brought you to this point, and we want to listen to you.”
Manley also issued a “safety alert," urging people located within a half-mile radius of where the incident occurred to stay indoors until 10 a.m. on Monday.
“Stay inside your home until we have had a chance to deem this neighborhood safe,” Manley said at a news conference on Sunday. “That will not be, at a minimum until daylight, given the darkness and the size of the area that we want to go in and check to make sure again that this neighborhood is safe.”
Police also said school buses would not be able to access the Travis Country neighborhood where the explosion took place and said "any tardies or absences due to this situation will be excused."
(Photo: SUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP/Getty Images)
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