On Tuesday, the Austin, Texas, area was hit by the fifth package bombing in the past 19 days, setting state authorities into overdrive on a mission to stop the mystery killer (or killers) from continuing the carnage.
The latest blast occurred at a FedEx distribution facility outside San Antonio, where a package detonated at around 12:25 a.m. local time, the FBI announced, resulting in one injury. The package was addressed to a location in Austin, and it also originated in Austin, according to reports.
Austin Police providing briefing regarding suspicious package found at 4117 McKinney Falls Parkway. https://t.co/QzcXIB6Y6D
— Austin Police Dept (@Austin_Police) March 20, 2018
San Antonio Police Chief William McManus added that another suspicious package inside the facility is also being evaluated as a potential bomb. “There was one other package that we believe was also loaded with an explosive device that they are working on right now,” Chief McManus told reporters, adding that forensics experts are working on identifying its contents.
Two people — Anthony Stephan House, 39, and Draylen Mason, 17 — have been killed by the bombs and many more injured.
House died on March 2 from injuries he sustained after opening a package, which police say resembled a pipe bomb inside a regular-sized delivery box. He was a senior project manager for Texas Quarries, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Ten days later, Mason was killed by a bomb that went off after he opened one of the explosive-rigged packages at his address. Mason was a talented musician and a gifted academic, according to his friends and teachers.
Police suspect that one individual is behind the series of bombings. For days, they have been urging the package bomber to reach out to authorities, but have yet to communicate with the mystery bomber.
The unfolding situation in Austin has generated a response from the White House.
.@POTUS mourns for victims of the recent bombings in Austin. We are monitoring the situation, federal authorities are coordinating w/ local officials. We are committed to bringing perpetrators of these heinous acts to justice. There is no apparent nexus to terrorism at this time.
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) March 20, 2018
Additionally, in a meeting Tuesday in the Oval Office, President Trump commented on the series of bombings in the city:
President Trump on the Austin bombings: "We will get to the bottom of it." https://t.co/7qiEmzM8G9
— NBC News (@NBCNews) March 20, 2018
Police and Texas state officials are now offering over $100,000 for information that leads to the bomber’s location.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) March 19, 2018