Artillery simulator caused Austin Goodwill blast, not package bomb
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The Latest on serial bombings in Texas (all times local):
Police say someone dropped off a box containing an artillery simulator at an Austin Goodwill that detonated, injuring an employee and triggering a bomb scare.
Austin assistance police chief Ely Reyes says Tuesday night's blast wasn't related to bombings that have killed two people and severely wounded four others since March 2.
He says there's also "no reason to believe" this was a copycat incident.
Reyes says that when Goodwill received the box, they decided it wasn't appropriate for donation. While trying to dispose it, an employee handled one of the artillery simulators and it went off.
The employee was treated and released. Artillery simulators are devices sometimes used in military training.
Reyes says such military items are sometimes mistakenly donated to Goodwill rather than being properly disposed of.
The latest explosion in Austin reminded Shahla Mohnandshaw of home, but not in a good way.
Her husband works at the Goodwilll store where an incendiary device went off Tuesday night, injuring one man and further unnerving an already nervous Austin. Authorities say it wasn't related to the recent bombings that killed two people and seriously wounded four others since March 2.
Mohnandshaw was doing laundry at her apartment complex nearby when she heard helicopters and raced toward the store.
Mohnandshaw grew up in Afghanistan before moving to the U.S. in 2012. She says: "I was raised on these bombings. I know the feeling of how it feels and how it hurts."
She says she used to tell people, "in America, there will never be these things."
Police and federal authorities say the latest explosion to hit Austin was caused by an "incendiary device" and is not related to the series of bombs that has rocked Texas' capital city.
The Austin Police Department and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said via Twitter that the blast Tuesday night at a Goodwill store in the southern part of the city wasn't caused by a package bomb, as initially reported, but an incendiary device.
One man in his 30s was injured and authorities evacuated a grocery store and shopping center nearby.
But authorities insisted that the incident wasn't related to five bomb blasts that have killed two people and severely injured four others since March 2.
Austin authorities say emergency personnel are responding to another reported explosion, this one at a Goodwill store in the southern part of the city.
Austin-Travis County EMS tweeted Thursday evening that at least one person was injured but that details about the severity of those injuries and the explosion itself were unknown.
It would mark the sixth explosion in the Austin area since March 2. So far, two people have been killed and four others seriously wounded.
The FBI says a suspicious package reported at a FedEx distribution center near the Austin airport "contained an explosive device."
In a statement Tuesday evening, the FBI said no one was injured when law enforcement responded to a report of a suspicious package at the facility around 6:20 a.m.
Hours earlier, a separate package exploded at a FedEx shipping center in Schertz, about 60 miles (96 kilometers) south of Austin.
The FBI said both packages were related to the other four bombings that have rocked Austin since March 2, killing two people and badly wounding four others.
The chairman of the U.S. House Homeland Security committee says federal authorities informed him investigators have obtained surveillance videos in Austin that "could possibly" show a suspect in the package bombing at a FedEx distribution center near San Antonio.
Congressman Michael McCaul told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he's been briefed by the FBI, ATF and Austin police about the situation. But he adds that investigators are still poring through the surveillance recordings.
Austin police earlier said another suspicious package was discovered at a second FedEx center near Austin's main airport. McCaul says evidence obtained from that package if kept intact could be key in finding the bomber.
McCaul, whose district includes Austin, says he hopes the bomber's "biggest mistake was going through FedEx."