FBI staying vigilant on church bombings

FBI staying vigilant on church bombings

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FBI staying vigilant on church bombings

By Mike Cook

Las Cruces Bulletin

Even though the investigation into the bombing of two Las Cruces churches is now more than 90 days old, it is “not on the back burner, nor will it be,” said Robert White, assistant special agent in charge of the FBI office in Albuquerque. “I encourage anybody anywhere who has information to share that information with us.”

White joined representatives of other local, state and national law enforcement agencies at a briefing Monday morning, Nov. 2 on the bombings that occurred three months ago – on Aug. 2 – at Calvary Baptist Church, 1800 S. Locust St., and Holy Cross Catholic Church, 1327 N. Miranda St. “Someone knows information about this case. We are encouraging that individual or those indi-

8 viduals to come forward with that information,” White said.

White said the investigation into the bombings has yielded “no significant breakthrough” to date, despite “thousands of hours and a lot of money” being spent on the case. He said the person or persons responsible for the bombings “remains at large.”

Shortly after the bombings, law enforcement officials released a 20-second video that shows an adult male wearing a dark blue, short-sleeved tee shirt, plaid shorts and hiking boots who appears to be carrying a bag or package, White said. That person was seen in the Calvary Baptist Church parking lot about the time of the explosion there, but has not been identified.

White said a $20,000 reward is being offered for the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the bombings. He said law enforcement officials also would like to make contact with a “person of interest who may know something” about the bombings.

The bombings, he said, especially at a place of worship, are “intolerable.”

White said no injuries resulted from either bombing. An Oct. 30 news release from the Las Cruces Police Department said “only minor damage was done at each location” as a result of the bombings. It noted that “the two churches are separated by slightly more than three miles.” The explosions occurred less than 30 minutes apart.

Saying the bombing case is an “ongoing investigation,” White would not give additional information on the devices used in the bombings or if law enforcement officials have confirmed that the bombings are related.

White encouraged local residents to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious behavior or packages. “Don’t become complacent,” he said. “Working together, we can solve this crime.”

To contact law enforcement about the church bombings, call the 24hour, seven-day-a-week FBI tip line at 1-800-CALLFBI (225-5324).

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