Authorities zero in on origin of ‘crude’ pipe bombs: ‘All arrows pointing to Florida’

With the investigation into who sent “crude” devices meant to look like bombs well underway, authorities are zeroing in on Florida.

“All arrows pointing to Florida,” one official told CBS News.

Investigators are focusing on a U.S. Postal facility in Opa-locka, Florida, where some of the suspicious packages may have originated, CBS News reported.

The number of devices is now 10 with former Vice President Joe Biden, Rep. Maxine Waters and actor Robert DeNiro being added to the list of targets and some in the media have taken to calling the suspect the “MAGA-bomber” in an irresponsible ploy to place the blame on President Donald Trump.

At a campaign rally Wednesday in Wisconsin, the president turned the tables on the media.

“The media has responsibility to set a civil tone and stop the endless hostility and constant negative and often false attacks,” Trump said, according to CBS News.

The return address on all of the packages was the Florida address of U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla.

Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, said in an interview aired on Fox Business Network that authorities have narrowed down mailing locations, but did not elaborate further.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen confirmed to Fox News on Thursday that many of the packages were mailed from Florida, although she stopped short of naming the Opa-locka facility.

Some of the packages are suspected of being mailed from New York and Maryland, according to authorities.

And while investigators are looking at surveillance camera footage at the self-mailing kiosk machines inside the Opa-locka facility and canvassing the area, there are reports that the devices were not functioning bombs.

Jerome Hauer, a former Homeland Security chief for New York, told CBS News that the bombs did not appear to be triggered to explode.

“My sense of it is they’re crude, they were not supposed to explode, but he’s trying to terrorize people by sending something that looks absolutely real,” he said.

Officials say all 10 bombs were packaged similarly and the devices themselves were made to look like active bombs, according to CBS News.

All of the devices are now at the FBI’s high-tech bomb laboratory in Quantico, Va., for analysis.


Tom Tillison


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