New blast sends bombing investigators to Texas FedEx center


AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Investigators pursuing a suspected serial bomber in the Texas capital shifted their attention today to a FedEx shipping center near San Antonio where a package exploded on a conveyor belt in the middle of the night and caused minor injuries to a worker.

Although the latest blast did not inflict serious harm, it added to the widening fear of more explosions like four previous ones that have already killed two people and badly wounded four others.

Hours after the latest blast, police sent a bomb squad to a FedEx facility outside the Austin airport to check on a suspicious package that was reported shortly before sunrise.

Federal agencies and the Austin Police Department subsequently released a statement saying that package had indeed contained an explosive that was successfully intercepted by authorities. They added that both the intercepted package and the one that exploded were believed linked to the previous Austin bombings.

Meanwhile, authorities also closed off an Austin-area FedEx store where they believe the bomb that exploded was shipped to the distribution center. They roped off a large area around the shopping center in the enclave of Sunset Valley and were collecting evidence, including surveillance camera footage.

The fifth and latest explosion happened about 1 a.m. at a FedEx facility in Schertz, which is just northeast of San Antonio and about 60 miles southwest of Austin.

"It would be silly for us not to admit that we suspect it's related" to the other four Austin bombings since March 2, FBI agent Michelle Lee said. She did not have details about the size or weight, or a description of the package.

One worker reported ringing in her ears. She was treated at the scene.

U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, a Republican from Austin who is chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said that investigators have obtained surveillance videos that "could possibly" show a suspect, but are still poring through video.

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