A package containing an explosive device has detonated inside of a FedEx processing facility just outside of San Antonio, Texas. The device exploded while on a conveyor belt, and a woman was treated for “sound injuries.” The package was bound for Austin, and authorities have said it is likely linked to the bombings that have terrorized the city since early March.
The blast drew a large response from state, local and federal law enforcement agencies. Federal agents told the Associated Press the package is likely linked to attacks in Austin.
The ATF’s Houston office said it responded to the scene in Schertz. Schertz is located 22 miles east of San Antonio and 73 miles south of Austin.
The blast comes a day after authorities in Austin said a “serial bomber” is likely responsible for four explosions in Austin this month, the latest of which injured two people Sunday night after they crossed a trip wire possibly made with fishing line.
Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said at a news conference Monday that although the Sunday night bomb was linked to the three previous blasts, the latest bomb showed more sophistication as opposed to the previous three incidents, which involved package bombs left on people’s doorsteps.
The blast at the San Antonio facility is the fifth blast in less than three weeks. The Austin serial bomber case conjures up disturbing echoes of Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, whose mail bombs terrorized people for nearly 20 years. Two FBI officials who were instrumental in apprehending Kaczynski have compared the Austin case to the Unabomber:
“They understand that law enforcement has been telling people, ‘Look out on your front porch. If it doesn’t say UPS or Amazon or FedEx, call the police,’” former FBI profiler Clint Van Zandt told The Daily Beast on Monday.
Van Zandt is credited with helping identify Ted Kaczynski as the Unabomber. From 1978 to 1995, Kaczynski mailed bombs (mostly to researchers and scholars) that killed three people and wounded 23 others.
Last week, another veteran Unabomber investigator predicted the Austin bomber would change their tactics. Former FBI agent James Fitzgerald told KXAN-TV that the attacker would likely adjust his modus operandi “because he knows there’s so much publicity right now.”
In response, the bomber added a tripwire and moved the package to the street, Van Zandt told The Daily Beast.
“That’s a level of diabolical sophistication to be able to move that quickly,” Van Zandt said.
Austin authorities have increased the reward for information leading to the bomber’s capture to $115,000.
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