Police searching for motive in 'targeted' northeast Austin explosion

AUSTIN (KXAN) -- Austin police believe an explosion in northeast Austin that killed a 39-year-old man was an isolated incident and that there is not a continuing threat to the community.

Police say Anthony Stephan House was critically injured in the blast when a device exploded around 6:55 a.m. Friday on the front porch of his home in the 1100 block of Haverford Drive. He died less than an hour later at the hospital. Austin police are investigating the death as suspicious but have not classified it as a homicide at this time.

"We can't rule out that Mr. House didn't construct this himself and accidentally detonate it, in which case it would be an accidental death," says APD Asst. Chief Joseph Chacon in a news conference Monday afternoon. The chief said while their investigators do not believe the incident was terrorism, they cannot completely rule it out.

Chacon says they have been able to determine that it was a package, although they haven't determined if it was delivered by a company or someone else.

"Right now, we're trying to determine how did the package get there and who was the intended target," says Chacon. "We do feel that this was targeted at somebody, we're still trying to figure out if that's the individual who died or not."

Austin police homicide detectives are partnering with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' post-blast team to process the scene. A postal inspector and members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation were also on scene Friday.

ATF is currently working to determine what detonated inside the package on House's front porch.

Detectives are asking people who knew House to let them know if they knew anyone who might have had a problem with him or might want to harm him. "Figuring out who Mr. House was in contact with and what kind of motives we can develop, but at this point we don't have a strong suspect in this," explains Chacon.

Anyone who may have information about this death can call the Homicide Tip Line at 512-477-3588 or Crime Stoppers at 512-472-TIPS.

Neighbors say House was the former president of their HOA. Neighbor Kenneth Thompson, Sr. observed how House's other neighbors ran to his aid shortly after the explosion. Thompson described House as "a good guy."

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