Possible trip wire explosion in SW Austin neighborhood

Police Plea to Austin Bomber: 'We Want to Listen to You'

After three packages exploded earlier in March, killing two people and seriously injuring another while baffling the authorities, the city's police chief appealed on Sunday for the suspect or suspects to make contact.

"It's shocking", said Austin City Councillor Ellen Troxclair, who represents the district.

"We will have to determine if we see a specific ideology behind this". All three picked up packages left on their doorsteps that exploded; the package that killed the teenager detonated in his kitchen.

The latest incident significantly expanded the geography of the attacks-from East Austin to Southwest Austin-and suggests, at least in the latest case, a change from specific targets to more random targets, deepening angst for this city of almost one million people.

"What we do know is that the individual or individuals involved in this, these suspects, they do have a certain level of skill to be able to construct a device like this and then deliver that device to your target without having it explode, either during construction, or during delivery, does take a certain level of sophistication", Manley said.

Sunday also was the final day of the South By Southwest music festival, which draws hundreds of thousands to Austin every March. Two people were killed in those earlier explosions.

The first two bombs killed black people - a 39-year-old construction worker and a 17-year-old high school student - related to prominent members of Austin's African-American community who were also close friends.

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The previous packages were all left at people's homes, authorities said.

"If we continue to live our lives on as normal, which is full of tacos and trying to get along, I think we'll be fine", said Chas Moore, the co-founder and executive director of the Austin Justice Coalition.

But Manley said police have been unable to determine a motive for the bombings which have killed two people in the city of almost one million people and injured another four.

It's the fourth blast to hit the city in the past three weeks.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler said the manhunt for the bomber was the "highest priority".

More than 500 federal agents and Austin Police are searching for the culprits.

On Sunday, police blocked entrances to the neighborhood where the latest blast occurred and put up yellow tape about half a mile from the home where it happened.

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Despite warnings to stay indoors, nearby neighbours milled around just outside the cordon.

The emergency alert read, "Austin Police is working incident in your area". After sunrise, officers were canvasing the area for anything suspicious.

Earlier Sunday, police announced a $115,000 reward for information leading to a suspect's arrest - imploring whoever was behind the bombing to surrender.

The PGA's Dell Technologies Match Play tournament is scheduled to begin in Austin on Wednesday, and dozens of the world's top golfers are set to begin arriving. "We've seen a change in the method this suspect or suspects are using".

Manley said there are similarities between Sunday night's explosion and the other three explosions that have occurred since March 2, 2018.

Police responded to another explosion Sunday night in a Southwest Austin neighborhood that left two men injured.

Police believe this device was triggered by a tripwire, indicating a bomb-maker with a diverse range of skills. Manley originally suggested they could have been hate crimes since all the victims were black or Hispanic, but now says that investigators aren't ruling out any possible motive.

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