Police: Latest Austin bombing may have been set off by trip wire

By Sara ShayanianUPI

“Do not handle packages, do not pick up packages, do not disturb packages,” Police Chief Brian Manley warned Austin residents Monday.

Police say they are working under the impression that another package explosion in Austin, Texas, Sunday night is connected to three other recent bombings — prompting fears a serial bomber is targeting local residents.

“We’re working under the belief they’re connected, however, we have not yet processed the scene,” Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said in an news conference early Monday. “It ultimately may rely on the results from laboratory examination to come to a final confirmation of that.”

Manley told reporters the package bomb that exploded Sunday night could have been triggered by a different mechanism — a trip wire.

“It is very possible that this device is a device that was activated by someone either handling, kicking or coming in contact with a trip wire activating the device,” Manley said. “Do not handle packages, do not pick up packages, do not disturb packages.”

The police chief warned residents to call 911 to report any suspicious packages.

Residents in the Travis County neighborhood in southwest Austin were being asked to remain inside their homes until the area is cleared by police.

Sunday’s explosion is the fourth this month in Austin. Two people were killed in three bombings on March 2 and March 12. No arrests have been made.

Sunday’s explosion occurred just hours after the FBI increased the reward for information leading to an arrest to $100,000.

Texas Crime Stoppers is offering an additional $15,000 for the bomber’s arrest and conviction.

The injuries sustained by two men in Sunday’s blast were not life-threatening injuries, the police chief said.