Retired ATF agent sheds light on next steps in explosive investigations

Retired ATF agent sheds light on next steps in explosive investigations

AUSTIN - The Austin Police Department responded to more than 60 suspicious package calls after two packages exploded on Monday, according to an APD spokesperson.

“It’s important that we come together as a community and solve this,” APD Chief Brian Manley.

Investigators first got a call around 6:45 a.m. about a reported explosion in the 4800 block of Oldfort Hill Drive. According to APD, a 17-year-old boy picked up a package on the front porch of the home and it exploded, killing him and injuring another woman.

About five hours later, APD responded to another reported explosion in the 6700 block of Galindo Street. A 75-year-old woman picked up a packaged on her front porch and then it exploded, critically injuring her.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Texas Department of Public Safety assisted APD with the investigation.

Chief Manley said they believe the two incidents were related to a similar incident that happened on March 2 and left a man dead.

People who live in the neighborhood where the most recent explosion happened said they were now worried.

"My own safety, my family safety, what can we do as a city to try to stop this because obviously somebody has it out for somebody,” Christopher Olivio said after seeing investigators in his neighborhood.

FBI agents were seen walking through the neighborhood and speaking with people, which is something Rob Elder, retired ATF Special Agent in Charge said.

"It all starts with the scene investigation at this point. The processing of the evidence, the processing of the blast site,” Elder said.

He said interviewing survivors and asking them certain questions will be key in solving the crime.

"What the package looked like prior to it being opened, where was it positioned on the porch, were they expecting any packages?” Elder explained.

The APD Chief urged everyone to be cautious if they receive a package that does not look normal or if they receive a package that they were not expecting.

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