AUSTIN, TX (CBSDFW.COM) – Texas Governor Greg Abbott today announced an additional release of $265,000 in emergency funding to help assist bombing investigations in Austin after four attacks this month in that city. The money will be used to purchase technology that will aid law enforcement in assessing package safety.
Lethal packages were left on doorsteps of unsuspecting victims on three occasions and officials believe a tripwire triggered the fourth explosion. So far, two people have been killed in the attacks.
“We are clearly dealing with what we expect to be a serial bomber at this point — based on the similarities between what is now the fourth device,” Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said Monday.
The Emergency funding will be made available “for the Austin Police Department (APD) and the Texas Ranger Bomb Response Team to purchase seven portable x-ray systems for use in bomb detection and responding to suspicious package investigations,” the governor’s office said in a news release Monday. “These x-ray systems are used by bomb technicians on-scene and provide clear visual evidence for rapid assessment of a package’s safety.”
According to the release, several of these units are already in use by “Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) technicians.”
“I want to ensure everyone in the Austin region and the entire state that Texas is committed to providing every resource necessary to make sure these crimes are solved as quickly as possible,” said Abbott. “I offer my sincere thanks to law enforcement at the local, state and federal level for their efforts to ensure that those responsible for these attacks are apprehended and brought to justice.”
The first of the four explosions to hit Austin this month was caused by a package bomb that detonated at a northeast Austin home on March 2, killing a 39-year-old man. Two more package bombs then exploded farther south on March 12, killing a 17-year-old, wounding his mother and injuring a 75-year-old woman.