Package Bombs Leave Austin On Edge

One person dead one hurt after reported explosion in Austin Texas

Investigators quickly realised that the bombings strongly resembled a March 2 case involving a package that exploded and killed a man in his northeast Austin home. One of the victims in that case reportedly found the package outside and took it to the kitchen where it detonated.

The attacks took place as Austin hosted thousands of out-of-town visitors for its annual South by Southwest festival. "So we can not rule that out, that hate crime is at the core of this, but we're not saying this was the cause as well", says Interim Police Chief Manley.

Manley would only say that "these are very powerful devices" and "there's a certain level of skill required to move a device like this". After an investigation by the bomb squad, police said they determined later that the second package was unrelated to the device that killed the teen. "You knew that something bad was happening", Reynolds said, adding that the victim's body was riddled with holes as emergency responders took her out of the house. They were left on doorsteps without a knock or ringing of doorbells. A spokeswoman for the Austin police did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

- The bombs killed a 39-year-old African-American man on March 2, killed a 17-year-old African-American male early Monday morning, and severely injured a 75-year-old Hispanic woman midday Monday. "Somebody knew the connection".

He said his "heart is breaking" for the 17-year-old victim, and that "we're going to have to be cautious and watch our surroundings, because people are getting outrageous". Two blasts hours apart Monday intensified the mystery of who is targeting residents in neighborhoods that stretch from the city's northern borders to Southeast Austin - and why.

Dixon said he used to be the pastor at Wesley United Methodist Church, which the Masons attend, and he and Norman Mason were longtime friends and fraternity brothers.

"It's not just coincidental", Dixon said.

The FBI's teams out of Austin and Dallas are helping the Austin Police Department in its investigation. "My diagnosis: Number one, I think it's a hate crime". A cardboard box had also been left in front of her house.

"I've not seen anything that gives me reason to believe that this has links to terrorism at this point", Manley said.

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Monday's second explosion occurred around the Montopolis neighborhood, about eight kilometres south of the day's first blast.

Authorities have not said whether that blast was also caused by a package bomb or if the victim, like those hit in the two confirmed bombings, is black. The first two victims were African-American whereas the last one was a Hispanic woman. There is a report of a possible third explosion.

"My mom was scared to pick up the mail", Ruby said. "I don't even want to leave my daughter no more".

Anyone who finds a suspicious package they were not expecting at their home should stay away from the box and call 911, the chief urged.

The festival began Friday in downtown Austin and ends Tuesday. No individual or group has claimed responsibility for the explosions, according to Manley.

The other two explosions happened within five hours of each other.

Two separate explosions occurred Monday in Austin, capital of the state of Texas, killing a teenager and wounding two women.

Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are working to solve the series of bombings, which have drawn comparisons to those of the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski, who killed three people and injured 23 others between 1978 and 1995. That group is activated for particularly large-scale or complicated fires and explosions, including the West, Texas, plant fire in 2013 and the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.

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