A package bomb believed to be on its way to Austin, Texas exploded today in a FedEx facility near San Antonio, Texas, injuring one person, the Washington Post reports.
A second package bomb was reported to have been found at the same facility; however, San Antonio Police Chief William McManus told the Statemen News that he misspoke about the second bomb, and that there was only one.
The last bomb marks the fifth to explode in Texas since the beginning of March. Three package bombs killed two people, and injured another two. Last weekend, a tripwire bomb injured two men.
The fact that the first three bombs were sent to black and Latinx households had many calling the attacks a hate crime; however, police have been hesitant to use that term. The most recent tripwire attack was made in a predominately white area; both of its victims were white.
Officials said that they are “confident that neither this [FedEx] facility nor any location in the Schertz area was the target,” and that they believe this fifth bomb is connected to the first four.
Austin Interim Police Chief Brian Manley said recently, "We are clearly dealing with what we expect to be a serial bomber at this point."
On Tuesday morning, The White House held a press briefing to discuss the bombings. Vox reports that at the White House, President Trump said, This is obviously a very, very sick individual or maybe individuals, these are sick people and we will get to the bottom of it, we will be very strong.”
Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that the bombings do not appear to be part of any "apparent nexus of terror at this time."
.@POTUS mourns for victims of the recent bombings in Austin. We are monitoring the situation, federal authorities are coordinating w/ local officials. We are committed to bringing perpetrators of these heinous acts to justice. There is no apparent nexus to terrorism at this time.
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) March 20, 2018
Although the White House is downplaying any connection to terrorism, many Austin residents are terrified. Police have told citizens of the city to report any suspicious packages, and have been flooded with concerned calls:
APD responded to 420 suspicious package calls between 8 a.m. yesterday and 8 a.m. today bringing the total number to 1,257 calls since approximately 8 a.m. on March 12.
— Austin Police Dept (@Austin_Police) March 20, 2018
For its part, the United States Postal Service has said it is not taking these attacks lightly. In a statement to CNN spokesman, Dave Partenheimer said:
"The U.S. Postal Service has developed a comprehensive approach to protecting the mail system by utilizing a targeted strategy of specialized technology, screening protocols, and employee training. The Postal Inspection Service has organized response teams nationwide for investigating suspicious parcels through our Dangerous Mail Investigations (DMI) Program. Any reports of suspicious mailings are taken very seriously, as they may impact the safety of postal employees and disrupt the processing of mail."