4th Austin, Texas bombing shows 'different level of skill'

4th Austin, Texas bombing shows 'different level of skill'

4th Austin, Texas bombing shows 'different level of skill'

The sophisticated technology and method used in the fourth explosive device in Austin, Texas, this month suggest that whoever made the bomb knew what they were doing, authorities and experts say.

Police said the difference between the fourth explosion and the previous three is that it was not created by a suspicious package left on a doorstep.

The explosion wounded two men, who were described by Manley as 22 and 23 year old Anglo men.

But police Chief Brian Manley repeated previously issued warnings for residents not to touch any unexpected packages left at their homes. Police have not determined if those attacks are hate crimes, but said it's a possibility because of the victims' ethnicities.

A reward of $115,000 (£82,000) has been set for any information leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible. "That's been the question all along", Manley said.

Manley said the tripwire design required a higher level of skill to construct and represents a "significant change": While the earlier bombings appeared targeted, the latest one would have hurt anyone who happened to walking by.

"We now need the community to have an extra level of vigilance and pay attention to any suspicious device - whether it be a package or a bag, a backpack - anything that looks out of place", Manley said Monday.

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In addition to Austin police, more than 350 Federal Bureau of Investigation agents are working the case along with Texas Department of Public Safety troopers and bomb technicians from Houston and San Antonio.

"We have seen similarities in the device that exploded here last night and the other three devices that have exploded in Austin starting on March 2", he said.

Police cordoned off a half-mile (0.8 kilometer) radius of a residential neighborhood of southwest Austin after the latest explosion.

Austin's school district announced that buses wouldn't be going into the Travis Country neighbourhood and that any "tardies or absences due to this situation will be excused".

"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 on "GMA".

Adding to the confusion is the fact that Sunday night's two victims - men in their 20s either pushing or riding bicycles - were white, but a racial motive is still possible, the chief said. "Again do not approach items like that, but instead call 911 to report it so we can go out and make sure it's safe".

He said authorities could not confirm whether a specific ideology was behind the attacks, but appealed to those behind the bombings to contact authorities directly.

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But those living and working in Austin say it is a hard balance to find.

Investigators believe the earlier attacks were related.

"We are working under the belief that this is related to the other bombing incidents that have occurred in our community over the last couple weeks", said Manley, according to The Washington Post.

He also asked people living in the neighborhood of the explosion to help police for the investigation. He says concern is growing because "the methodology has changed".

The three previous bombs were triggered by victims handling packages left on doorsteps. None of the three bombs, which were not delivered through normal mail delivery, exploded until it was handled.

"We want to understand what brought you to this point", he said. Ten days later, 17-year-old musician Draylen Mason was killed when he opened a package in his East Austin kitchen.

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