Breaking News: Package bomb explodes at FedEx in Texas; 1 hurt

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – The Latest on serial bombings in Texas (all times local):

5 a.m.

The San Antonio Texas Fire Department says a package bomb has exploded at a FedEx distribution center in Schertz, Texas, hurting 1 person, a FedEx employee who apparently suffered a non-life-threatening “percussion-type” injury from the blast.

The FBI and ATF are at the scene. Federal agents say this package is likely linked to attacks by what they believe is a serial bomber. The package exploded shortly after midnight on Tuesday.

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1 a.m.

Police and federal agents said Sunday night’s blast triggered along a street by a nearly invisible tripwire suggests a “higher level of sophistication” than they have seen before in three early package bombs left on doorsteps, and means the carnage is now random, rather than targeted at someone in particular.

William Grote says the attack, by a suspected serial bomber that has terrorized Austin for weeks, left what appeared to be nails embedded in his grandson’s knees.

Two people are dead and four injured, and authorities don’t appear closer to making any arrests in the four bombings that have rocked the capital city.

Authorities haven’t identified the latest victims, but Grote told The Associated Press that his grandson was one of the two men wounded in southwest Austin’s quiet Travis Country neighborhood. They suffered what police said were significant injuries and remained hospitalized in stable condition.

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6:25 p.m.

A relative of one of the latest Austin bombing victims says the blast left what appeared to be nails stuck below his grandson’s knees.

William Grote told The Associated Press on Monday that his grandson was cognizant but still in a lot of pain while remaining hospitalized.

Police have not yet identified the victims of Sunday’s explosion but Grote says his grandson was one of the two people hurt.

Grote says one of them was riding a bike in the street and the other was on a sidewalk when they crossed a tripwire. He says it knocked “them both off their feet” and left them “bleeding profusely.”

Grote says it was so dark they couldn’t see a wire.

It was the fourth bombing in Austin over a span of three weeks. Previous explosions have killed two people.

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4:50 p.m.

Police have reopened some streets after putting an Austin neighborhood where the latest explosion occurred on total lockdown overnight.

But much of the area known as Travis Country remains closed to all but some residents, and the vicinity around the blast remained cordoned off.

By late Monday afternoon, even one resident who said that he could practically see his house from behind the police tape was denied entry.

Four blasts have hit Austin in less than three weeks, killing two people and wounding four others.

Police had closed the neighborhood to comb through evidence, and were still searching for clues. Rewards totaling $115,000 are being offered for information leading to an arrest in the case.

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4:25 p.m.

The NAACP is calling the four bombings that have hit Austin in less than three weeks acts of domestic terrorism.

In a statement Monday, NAACP President Derrick Johnson said, “We are asking our membership to be vigilant and to pay attention to anything out of the ordinary in their communities and avoiding picking up any unexpected packages left at their homes.”

The group noted that the first two package bombs “murdered two African Americans” and that the next two injured a Hispanic woman and “two Caucasian males.” The first bombing occurred March 2 and the most recent happened Sunday night.

NAACP Austin President Nelson Linder said in a statement, “This is a time for us to communicate” regarding “any type of strange behavior in our neighborhoods.”

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3 p.m.

Police had asked residents living near the site of the latest Austin explosion to remain in their homes until 2 p.m. – but an hour later, the area was still on lockdown.

Police chief Brian Manley said earlier Monday that although officers didn’t find anything suspicious in the southwestern Austin residential neighborhood of Travis Country, investigators were still collecting evidence.

Sunday night’s explosion occurred around 8 p.m.

But it was unclear when police would give the all-clear for residents to leave their homes.

Authorities say Sunday night’s bombing differed from three package bombs earlier this month but may be the work of a serial bomber.

Also, Gov. Greg Abbott announced he was releasing $265,000 in state funds to Austin police and state authorities investigating all four bombings.

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1 p.m.

The PGA Tour, which is staging the Dell Match Play Championship in west Austin this week, says its security advisers are collaborating closely with law enforcement to try to ensure the safety of players and fans.

The PGA said Monday that it doesn’t comment on the specifics of its security measures, but that the safety of players and fans is its top priority.

Austin has been the site of four bombings this month, including one Sunday night that was triggered by a tripwire and seriously injured two men. The first three attacks used package bombs left on people’s doorsteps. They killed two people and injured two others.

Authorities believe the attacks are the work of a serial bomber.

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12:40 p.m.

Those who live in the Austin neighborhood where the latest in a string of bombings injured two men are expressing a mix of fear and other emotions, including surprise and confusion.

Laura McGinnis, who lives in the Travis Country neighborhood in southwestern Austin, said Monday that Sunday night’s attack is frightening but that it hasn’t personally affected her yet. However, she says the bombing and three others elsewhere in the city this month make her wonder why the bomber hasn’t been caught.

Adam McGinnis, who also lives in the neighborhood, says he was reading on his back porch Sunday night when he heard what sounded like a large gun blast. He says he figured it must have been a transformer that blew and didn’t realize it was a bombing until his wife told him Monday morning.

Authorities say they believe all four blasts are the work of a serial bomber. The attacks have killed two people and injured four others.

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12:10 p.m.

An FBI investigator says he hopes the latest bombing in Texas’ capital city isn’t the bomber’s way of reaching out to law enforcement.

Authorities have been calling on the person or people behind this month’s string of bombings in Austin to let them know the reasons for the attacks.

Christopher Combs, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s San Antonio division, told The Associated Press on Monday that investigators are looking for a dialogue with the bomber. He notes that the stakes “went up a lot” on Sunday with the bomber’s use of a tripwire. Two men were seriously injured.

Combs, who is investigating the Austin attacks, says, “The bomber has obviously shown us that he has the ability to make more complex devices, to hurt more people, to be more random. And that’s not good. That why we need to talk to the bomber about what is going on.”

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11:45 a.m.

Authorities say the latest bomb to go off in the Texas capital of Austin was anchored to a metal yard sign near a hiking trail and equipped with a fishing line-thin tripwire.

Frederick Milanowski, the special agent in charge for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, said at a news conference Monday that the wire or filament that detonated the bomb Sunday night would have been very difficult to see.

Two men received significant injuries in the blast. Authorities say that although it is different from the three package bombings that killed two people and injured two others elsewhere in the city this month, they believe they are all the work of a serial bomber or bombers.

Milanowski says investigators have received more than 500 leads since the first bombing on March 2 and they are looking at several persons of interest.

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11:20 a.m.

Austin’s police chief says officers have completed a sweep of the neighborhood where the latest in a string of bombings occurred and deemed it safe, but he asked those who live there to remain indoors until 2 p.m.

Police Chief Brian Manley said at a news conference Monday that although officers didn’t find anything suspicious while canvassing the southwestern Austin residential neighborhood of Travis Country, investigators are still collecting evidence.

Authorities say that although Sunday night’s bombing differed from three earlier this month, they believe they were the work of a serial bomber or bombers. Two men received significant injuries in Sunday’s attack. It apparently involved a bomb placed alongside a fence and a tripwire that the men triggered while walking their bikes between the fence and a street.

The first three attacks used package bombs left on people’s doorsteps. Those attacks killed two people and injured two others.

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11 a.m.

Authorities are urging the public to provide surveillance video that could assist in the investigation into the string of bombings in the Texas capital of Austin.

During a news conference Monday, police Chief Brian Manley asked homeowners and others to forward video to investigators that might offer insight into the bombing Sunday night or three earlier this month.

The latest explosion injured two men in their 20s who were riding or walking their bicycles through a neighborhood in southwestern Austin. The earlier blasts killed two people and injured two others and happened in other parts of the city.

Authorities say the device that detonated Sunday featured a tripwire and was left near a road, while the prior bombings involved packages left on people’s doorsteps.

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