A FedEx worker has been injured after a package exploded in Texas as police continue to hunt a suspected serial bomber. The package, which was set to be delivered to Austin, contained nails and shrapnel and exploded at a distribution centre in Schertz at midnight local time. It is the fifth explosion of this type in Texas this month, and so far five people have lost their lives to the makeshift bombs. The FedEx employee is understood to have suffered injuries that aren't life-threatening, and is in hospital receiving treatment. The FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have since rushed to the scene to investigate.
Investigators have said they have no clear idea what is motivating the series of attacks, and have publicly reached out to the bomber, urging him or her to contact them and explain what his demands are. The first three devices were parcel bombs dropped off at night in front of homes on the city’s east side, while the fourth was a trip wire device that went off in a west side neighbourhood on Sunday. All four devices were similar, police said on Monday, and the city is living in a state of fear, but Austin Mayor Steve Adler told CNN: “I am confident that we’re going to find whoever is responsible for this and then we’re going to stop it.”
The last bomb went off on Sunday in an affluent area of town called Travis Country, and FBI agents are still sweeping the neighbourhood and have asked residents for home surveillance videos in a bid for evidence. The earlier bombs that took the lives of Anthony House and Draylen Mason, were thought to be a targeted attack as the two men were black, but another injured man was Hispanic and the last attacks have affected white people. Robert Pape, an international security expert and director of the University of Chicago Project on Security and Threats, said: “The person is actually trying to provoke fear and that is made worse by simply not giving information about why. There has not been an effort from the attacker to get publicity, and quite a few attackers are interested in what they see as glory and attention."
A reward of $115,000 has been offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible.