The Latest On The Texas Bombings

Photo: Eric Gay/AP Photo.
Update: The FBI says an explosion inside a FedEx facility near San Antonio could be connected to the Austin blasts, though investigators are still trying to determine whether there's a link.
A FedEx team member sustained minor injuries when a "single package exploded" in Schertz, TX, a San Antonio suburb about an hour southwest of Austin.
"We suspect it is related to our investigation," Michelle Lee, spokesperson for FBI San Antonio, told CNN.
This story was originally published on March 19, 2018.
Police warned Austin residents about a "serial bomber" on Monday after a fourth explosion rocked the city Sunday night.
The previous bombings are said to have targeted prominent Black families, with police acknowledging that they could have been racially motivated. While this fourth explosion injured two white men, the first two bombs killed two Black people and the third bomb seriously injured a Hispanic woman. Some have questioned whether there would have been more response to the initial blasts had they happened in a mostly white, affluent neighborhood.
There's also a question swirling around of when President Donald Trump will address the bombings — so far, he has said nothing about them. The FBI and officials from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are currently investigating the case.
The latest blast injured two men who were walking down a road on Sunday night, according to The Washington Post. Residents were asked to stay in their homes while police complete the investigation. The fact that the bomb was set off by a tripwire has led police to believe that the perpetrator(s) had "a higher level of sophistication, a higher level of skill" than they had initially believed, said Brian Manley, the interim Austin police chief. The three previous bombs, all set off earlier this month, exploded at people's homes.
"What we have seen now is a significant change from what appeared to be three very targeted attacks to what was, last night, an attack that would have hit a random victim that happened to walk by," Manley said. "So we’ve definitely seen a change in the method that this suspect…is using."
Hours before Sunday's explosion, Austin police made a public appeal for information on the case and increased the reward for intel to $100,000. They addressed the bomber: "These events in Austin have garnered worldwide attention," Manley said. "And we assure you that we are listening. We want to understand what brought you to this point, and we want to listen to you."
The president of the local NAACP told NBC News that the first two victims were both members of prominent African-American families, and they knew each other. "They have a long history and go to the same church," Nelson Linder said of 39-year-old Anthony Stephan House and 17-year-old Draylen Mason. Mason's mother, Shamika Wilson, was injured in the bombing. The Wesley United Methodist church was founded 152 years ago by newly freed slaves.
Mason was a talented musician who had recently been accepted to the selective University of Texas Butler School of Music. His grandmother, LaVonne Mason, is a cofounder of the Austin Area Urban League. House was the father of an 8-year-old girl, the president of his homeowners' association, and a project manager who had graduated from Texas State University. Linder said that House's stepfather, Freddie Dixon — a longtime pastor at Wesley United Methodist — was a close friend of Draylen Mason's grandparents.
"It's not just coincidental. Somebody's done their homework on both of us, and they knew what they were doing," Dixon told The Washington Post. "My diagnosis: Number one, I think it’s a hate crime. Number two, somebody’s got some kind of vendetta here."
Investigators said they believe Esperanza Herrera, 75, the victim of the third bombing, picked up a package that may have been intended for someone else, since it had someone else's address on it. "The intended target was another person who might be connected to the House and Mason families," Linder told NBC, though he did not elaborate.
Herrera was taking care of her 90-year-old mother and was found outside bleeding on the ground after the third explosion last Monday. Reports say she suffered critical injuries and is recovering.
Read these stories next:

More from US News

R29 Original Series