"We are clearly dealing with a serial bomber", Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said in a Monday press conference. What makes Sunday night's blast especially terrifying is that the device was left on the side of a residential road and triggered by a tripwire, police said Monday.
Brian Manley told a USA national television station that both men who were injured in Sunday night's explosion in the south-western Austin neighbourhood of Travis Country are white, unlike the victims in the three earlier attacks, who were black or Hispanic. "The big difference in this device is we believe a tripwire was used in this device".
The two people killed - 39-year-old Anthony Stephan House and 17-year-old Draylen Mason - died on March 2 and March 12, respectively.
The bomb that exploded Sunday night revealed a higher level of sophistication, and the circumstances indicated different tactics.
The explosive device was on the side of the road.
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For days, police have been warning people not to touch unexpected or suspicious-looking packages, a chilling thought at a time when people get more doorstep deliveries than ever before because of the rise of online shopping.
"With this tripwire, this changes things", said Christopher Combs, who is leading Federal Bureau of Investigation efforts in the case. "It's more sophisticated. It's not targeted to individuals".
He told reporters: "We're very concerned that with tripwires a child could be walking down a sidewalk and hit something".
Since the three parcel bombs, the police have received over 700 calls about suspicious packages, but the authorities have not found any that posed a security risk, Manley stated.
Hundreds of agents are investigating the Austin bombings, including forensic investigators, criminal profilers and experts from the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
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ATF Special Agent in Charge Fred Milanowski said the use of a trip wire in the bomb indicates an increased level of sophistication than the previous bombs and urged residents to stay vigilant. Our hearts are heavy for our family, friends, neighbors & colleagues in Austin, but we are steadfast in our support. "The trip wire definitely instilled some fear into this neighbourhood".
CNN is covering the Austin bombings, but it's easy to miss amid the sea of Trump-related headlines.
Gov. Greg Abbott said today that his office is allocating $265,500 for APD and the Texas Ranger Bomb Response Team to buy X-ray devices that would "provide clear visual evidence" for law enforcement responding to package-related calls. This time the bomb was delivered to a neighborhood in southwest Austin, and the explosion injured two men, who were taken to the hospital. At least a few people were injured in another explosion in Texas' capital late Sunday, after three package bombs detonated this month in other parts of the city, killing two people and injuring two others.
And a D.C. -area chapter of the NAACP tweeted that had these bombings occurred in affluent, predominantly white neighborhoods, Trump would have weighed in by now.
The victims in those three explosions were African-American or Hispanic. Police have not discovered a motive, but have not ruled out the possibility those bombings could be hate crimes.
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Despite the new modus operandi, Manley said investigators believe the bombings are connected. "We are not going to understand that (message) until the suspect or suspects reach out to us to talk to us", Manley said. The Austin Police Department said they didn't have enough information yet to call it a homicide.