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Mysterious package bombs kill teen, man in separate attacks: police

AUSTIN, Texas — A pair of package explosions that left two people dead in Austin, Texas, over the past 10 days share similarities and authorities suspect they are connected, police said.

Police investigate a pair of explosions that left two people dead in Austin, Texas, over a 10-day period in 2018. (AP)

The latest incident occurred Monday morning; the other on March 2. In both instances, a resident retrieved a package that blew up when it was opened.

Both packages were not delivered via any mail services and both homes are those of African-Americans. A 17-year-old boy died Monday and a woman was transported with non-life-threatening injuries. Another male died from his injuries in the March 2 explosion.

Race is being considered as a possible factor in the bombings, the Associated Press reports.

"We don't know what the motive behind these may be," Police Chief Brian Manley told the AP. "We do know that both of the homes that were the recipients of these packages belong to African-Americans, so we cannot rule out that hate crime is at the core of this. But we're not saying that that's the cause as well."

Both cases are now being investigated as homicides, Manley said during a news conference Monday.

Police were responding to another "reported explosion" Monday afternoon, but have not yet said whether it is connected to this investigation. Manley strongly urged residents in a tweet to be on the lookout for suspicious packages and to alert authorities immediately.

"If you've received a package that has been left on your doorstep or left in your yard or left on your driveway that you were not expecting or that was not from someone you know, then give us a call," Manley said.

Local police, as well as agencies including the FBI, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, are working on the case.