Two deadly Austin, Texas package bombs linked: Third explosion rocks city

One person was killed and a second was injured when a package exploded at a home in Austin Monday. Police say the incident is linked to an earlier explosion.

"Both of the homes that were the recipients of these packages belong to African-Americans," Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said at a news conference. "So we cannot rule out that hate crime is at the core of this. But we're not saying that's the cause as well."

Shortly after a press conference, police responded to yet another explosion. Authorities have not said whether that blast was also caused by a package bomb or if the victim, like those hit in the two confirmed bombings, is black. Austin-Travis County EMS tweeted that the woman is in her 70s and was taken to a hospital with potentially life-threatening injuries.

Authorities urged the public to call police if they receive any unexpected packages.

"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.

The latest explosions happened during the South by Southwest music, film and technology festival, which brings about 400,000 visitors to Austin each year. The explosions happened far from the main events of the festival, and there was no immediate word from organizers about additional safety precautions being taken.

The three explosions occurred in different parts of east Austin. Monday's first explosion happened at a home near the city's Windsor Park neighborhood and about 12 miles (20 kilometers) from the home where the March 2 package bomb killed 39-year-old Anthony Stephan House. His death was initially investigated as suspicious but is now viewed as a homicide.

Monday's second explosion — the cause of which was still being investigated — happened in the Montopolis neighborhood, near the airport and about 5 miles south of the day's first blast.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton urged all Texans to be cautious. "With three reported explosions in the Austin area, I want to urge all Texans to report any suspicious or unexpected packages arriving by mail to local law enforcement authorities. Call 911 immediately if you receive something suspicious," he said on Twitter.

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

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