Sheriff: Device found in house near Round Rock was not explosive

Williamson County

WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Investigators say a device initially believed to be a pipe bomb found inside a house just outside of Round Rock had no explosive inside it.

Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody asked people to avoid the area around the 400 block of Hillside Drive, which is southeast of the Brushy Creek Road and Great Oaks Drive intersection, at 12:18 p.m.

Residents who were told to stay away have since been given the all-clear to return. 

In a 2:30 p.m. press conference, the sheriff said deputies were called to the home by a property manager who was cleaning out a house after the renter moved out.

The property manager found ammunition and manuals about bomb-making material, Sheriff Chody said.

In a search of the home, a K-9 alerted to what initially appeared to be a pipe bomb. The Austin Police Department bomb squad was called to the scene, later joined by the FBI and the ATF.

The sheriff said investigators learned the pipe did not have an explosive inside it and destroyed it in a controlled detonation. 

Chody said the resident who recently moved out of the residence is unidentified. 

The sheriff said they have not found anything to show that the public is at risk. Still, after the recent Austin bombings, neighbors say they’re on edge.

“I was really, really scared because when we had the other bomber, they found him 15 minutes away from here and that was close, that was too close for me, and so knowing that it was literally the house that’s right there, that’s way too close,” said Gabi Ehardt, who lives behind the home where the materials were found.

“It’s kind of still fresh on the mind,” added Matt MacLane, who lives down the street, “That whole circumstance, honestly very strange, so you know, the connection you start thinking about that. It’s like whoa.”

Sheriff Chody stressed that the property manager who called deputies did the right thing.

“I don’t want to put anybody at alarm,” Chody said, “but, at the same time, I think we have a responsibility, especially the Austin area, after what we went through some months ago, that you need to pay attention around your neighborhoods. If you see something, report it.”

Neighbors worried

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