Reward for information in Austin bombings increased; authorities give update in investigation

By Mariah Medina - Digital Journalist

AUSTIN, Texas - The FBI, Austin Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has raised the reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in a series of package bombs in Austin, authorities announced Sunday afternoon.

The reward has been increased to $100,000 and is separate from a $15,000 reward issued by Gov.Greg Abbott. APD Chief Brian Manley said the reward money is coming from federal partners.

RELATED: How to send a tip to law enforcement 

According to Manley, more than 500 law enforcement personnel are assisting in the case. Authorities are urging anyone who might have information in the bombings to call authorities.

Manley explained that every tip received is logged, assigned and investigated. So far, authorities have addressed more than 400 leads in the bombings and have responded to 735 calls for suspicious packages.

Manley sent a message to suspects in the attacks, stating that the agencies were interested in talking to the suspect(s) to understand what message they were trying to send with the bombings.

RELATED: Austin residents fear that the explosions may be racially motivated 

"There's a message behind what's happening in our community and we're not going to understand that until the suspect or suspects reaches out to us to talk to us about what that message was," Manley said.

Investigators have not identified a motive or possible ideology behind the bombings and said they will likely not understand what the bomber's intention was until they come forward.

Manley said they do not have enough information to definitively state that the bombings are racially motivated, but stated investigators have not ruled that out as a possibility. Manley said each bombing victim is a person of color and each bombing has occurred on the East Side.

RELATED: These are the indicators of a possible mail bomb, tainted mail 

Manley said they hope the increase in tip money will encourage more people to come forward.

On Sunday, Austin police announced they had arrested 26-year-old Trevor Weldon Ingram on charges of making a terroristic threat for emailing a bomb threat that prompted sponsors to cancel a scheduled concert at Austin's South by Southwest music festival.

Manley said that investigators determined Ingram's threat was not credible and unrelated to the three package bomb explosions that have killed two people and injured two others.

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