ATF raises reward for suspicious device arrest

TYLER, TX (Raycom News Network) - The ATF is now bringing additional units to East Texas to help find out who is responsible for the numerous suspicious devices found in East Texas. They are looking at surveillance video. The ATF says, so far, more than a dozen devices have been found.

Monday, they found a pipe bomb at a business on East Commerce Street in Tyler. Two other pipe bombs, one real and one hoax, were found last week in Troup and Laird Hill. Plus, there have been at least nine Molotov cocktails found near Tyler, Kilgore, Price, Henderson, and Harrison County.

The pipe bomb found Monday did in fact contain dangerous components, according to the ATF. At first, the DSI employee who was mowing kicked it out of the way before realizing it was a bomb. They are also located next door to Delek Refining. It could have been a recipe for disaster, but investigators do not think the suspect or suspects are trying to hurt anyone.

"We certainly hope that whoever is doing this would not want to intentionally harm someone," said Amanda McMurrey. "I don't think that they want to intentionally harm someone."

"There's been no detonations or attempted detonations," said Tom Crowley, with ATF.

But the ATF says there may be more out there, especially in remote areas. For the first time on record, Tom Crowley says they have been finding these since early February.

"The first instance was when we were still doing the church fires because at that time we didn't know if it was related or not," said Crowley.

The numbers keep growing. Here lately, several devices a week are being uncovered - both on postal property and off. Crowley confirmed there have been more than a dozen.

"It's certainly been a substantial number," said Crowley.

And, just because none of them have been detonated, doesn't mean it will stay that way.

"There's always a concern that something will change...Anything with metal could be very dangerous because that's what causes a lot of the injuries if a device ever goes off," said Crowley.

"Obviously, we're looking at every angle that we can from surveillance cameras in the general public arena," said McMurrey

It is quickly turned into a priority investigation - a ticking time bomb, literally, to catch whoever is responsible.

Tuesday night, authorities raised the reward for information leading to an arrest from $10,000 to $25,000.

Investigators ask if you see any kind of pipe with a fuse or suspicious device do not touch it but immediately call authorities.

Copyright 2010 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.