— CNN (@CNN) March 19, 2018
On Sunday night, Austin went on high alert after the fourth bombing this month. The attacks, which have killed two people so far, began with three package bombings carried out through unmarked boxes delivered to residents’ homes. These attacks all targeted minority residents, so police believed they were connected as possible hate crimes. However, the fourth explosion has thrown authorities for a loop. As Austin Police Chief Brian Manley revealed on Monday morning, investigators do still believe this is the work of a “serial bomber,” but the pattern has morphed.
That is to say, the newest explosive device contains similarities to the other three bombs, but there are some important differences that suggest a more advanced approach. In the below clip, Manley confirms reports that a trip wire was used with this device. He indicates that, upon investigation, this device shows “a higher level of sophistication,” from a technical standpoint.
The new developments also put a wrinkle in the theory that these are hate crimes. Indeed, the use of a trip wire doesn’t target anyone in specific, and the two most recent victims are white males. Investigators are still working determine a motive for these attacks, and they still hope that the perpetrator will communicate with them and deliver a “message.” Meanwhile, the FBI and Texas Crime Stoppers are jointly offering a $115,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the serial bomber.
You can watch the full briefing below, courtesy of Fox News.
And here’s a middle of the night briefing, via the AP, in which Manley first acknowledges a trip wire device.