In a disturbing development, a package believed to be headed for Austin, Texas exploded at a FedEx facility in Schertz, Texas – a suburb of San Antonio that’s roughly a 60 mile drive from the state capitol, the Washington Post reported.
The FBI told CBS that it’s “more than possible” the blast is linked to the recent ones in Austin before law enforcement sources confirmed it.
— Ashley Sutton (@AshSuttonSA) March 20, 2018
The explosion occurred at around 12:30 am Tuesday morning (local time). The bomb, which contained nails and shrapnel, wounded at least one woman, FBI Special Agent Michelle Lee told reporters.
Work at the facility, which was staffed by 75 people, has ground to a halt as the FBI and ATF arrived on the scene. A local CBS affiliate received a call from one woman whose husband works at the facility. She told the station that he was not being allowed to leave.
Of the 75 people working at the facility, only one complained of injury described as a non life threatening percussion type injury.
All inbound and outbound packages are in limbo, and transport vehicles are in gridlock. At this hour, ATF and FBI assets are beginning to arrive.
— sanantonioFIRE (@saFIREorg) March 20, 2018
Since March 2, five explosions (including Tuesday morning’s blast) have rocked the Austin area. Police have warned the public that the incidents appear to be linked, and that they are “currently dealing with a serial bomber”.
In addition to the two men who were wounded after Sunday night’s explosion, two black men have been killed and an elderly Hispanic woman has been wounded. Police say they haven’t ruled out the possibility that the attacks – which began on March 2 – were racially motivated. The first three bombs were left on doorsteps. But Sunday’s explosion in Austin was likely triggered by a tripwire, which suggests that the suspects have a higher level of sophistication than police had initially believed. So far, there’s not enough evidence for police to classify the incidents as terrorism or hate crimes.
“We don’t know what the motive behind these may be. We do know that both of the homes that were the recipients of these packages belonged to African Americans, so we cannot rule out that hate crime is at the core of this,” said Austin Police Chief Brian Manley.
Authorities don’t appear to have any leads in a case that’s looking suspiciously like the infamous “unabomber” case from the 1990s.