With no suspect or suspects in custody in connection with the three bombings that have shaken Austin, authorities are upping the reward amount to $115,000. This includes a $15,000 reward that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott previously announced.
Austin Interim Police Chief Brian Manley, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives held a press conference Sunday to announce the increase of a reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for the package bombings that have killed two Austinites and injured another two.
Last week, Gov. Greg Abbott’s Office announced a $15,000 reward and then an additional $50,000 was added to the reward amount for a total of $65,000.
Anthony Stephan House, 39 was killed after a package left on his front porch detonated on March 2.
Ten days later on Monday, March 12, 17-year-old Draylen Mason was killed after finding a package on his porch and taking it inside the home. His mother was was also injured in the explosion.
Hours later on that same day, 75-year-old Esperanza Morena Herrera picked up a package that was left on her front porch on Galindo Street The package exploded injuring her.
At the press conference, Chief Manley was joined by FBI Special Agent In Charge Christopher Combs and ATF Special Agent in Charge Frederick J. Milanowski. Manley said that more than 500 federal agents are assisting in the investigation. They have followed up on 435 leads and responded to 735 calls of suspicious packages since last Monday.
Manley encouraged the community to continue to submit tips. He said that every lead that comes in gets logged and is followed up on. Austin Police and the federal agencies hold briefings twice a day to review progress in the investigation. He said the process is complex, but that it is working for them.
“We stand here and we talk about numbers, but I don’t want it to get lost here that we have had significant loss in this community,” Manley said.
He cautioned the community to continue to be cautious about any suspicious packages. “Not a single one of these bombs has exploded without being handled,” Manley said.
He said they are being left overnight and that they are not coming through legitimate delivery services. He emphasized that anyone who is suspicious of a package should call 911 and report it.
To be eligible for a cash reward of up to $115,000, tips must be submitted to Texas Crime Stoppers using one of the following methods:
- Call the Austin Police Department TIPS line at 512-472-TIPS (8477)
- Call the Texas Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-252-TIPS (8477)
- Text the letters “DPS”- followed by your tip – to 274637 (CRIMES)