More pipe bombs found in Nebraska, Colorado
OMAHA, Nebraska (CNN) -- Two more pipe bombs were found Monday in Nebraska and Colorado -- the latest in a string of incidents across the Midwest.
The Nebraska State Patrol said a Clay County resident discovered the latest bomb in his mailbox Monday after returning home from a weekend trip. It was the eighth device found in the state over the weekend.
Authorities said the bomb appeared to be similar to seven others that were discovered and safely disabled over the weekend.
Earlier Monday, experts detonated the seventh pipe bomb found in Nebraska over the weekend.
The device, in a rural mailbox near Albion, was similar to explosives found Saturday elsewhere in the state, the Nebraska State Patrol said.
Investigators said they believe there was a note accompanying the device but did not elaborate.
Colorado residents were warned to exercise "extreme caution" when opening their mailboxes after a pipe bomb was found in a mailbox in Salida, about 100 miles southwest of Colorado Springs.
The device did not detonate and no one was hurt, authorities said.
The FBI said in a statement it was discovered by a resident who called the sheriff. Law enforcement officials removed it without causing it to detonate.
Construction was "consistent with those found recently in Nebraska and Iowa," said the statement from the bureau's Denver office.
The FBI said Monday that 15 pipe bombs left in mailboxes in Iowa, Illinois and Nebraska were nearly identical and came from the same source, but the bombs differed in their detonation mechanisms.
"The detonation devices were apparently different in Iowa and Illinois from what they were in Nebraska," said Larry Holmquist, a spokesman for the FBI in Omaha.
"The difference [in the detonators] caused the explosives in Nebraska to be somewhat more stable and less likely to explode if someone were to handle it. However, they still were active explosives."
Six of the eight bombs found in Iowa and Illinois blew up Friday, wounding six people -- four postal employees and two elderly residents. Two other devices were discovered but rendered safe by authorities.
No one was injured by the seven bombs found in eastern Nebraska over the weekend, all of which were either detonated or disassembled by authorities, a spokeswoman for the Nebraska State Patrol said.
The similarity of letters attached to the explosives -- attacking the government and calling the bombs "attention getters" -- may indicate the devices came from the same source, but investigators said they are not sure whether the bombs are the work of one person.
"Investigators have no doubt that the pipe bombs were planted, that these events were caused, by the same person," Holmquist said. "The letters speak of 'I,' but we haven't eliminated the possibility that there was more than one person."
Two suspected bombs -- one of which turned out to be a hoax -- were reported Sunday to authorities in Nebraska, raising fears a day after six were found in rural mailboxes across the state, a state patrol spokeswoman said.
The first was found Sunday in St. Paul, but it turned out to be a toy, and St. Paul police were interviewing a juvenile suspect in connection with the hoax.
Some residents of Iowa and Nebraska have had to make modifications to their mailboxes to receive mail under procedures the U.S. Postal Service initiated after the first bombs were found last week.
At a news conference Sunday, Mike Matuzek, the Postal Service's district manager for the Central Plains, asked owners of "rural-style mailboxes" -- ones that are mounted at the curb or a good distance away from a residence -- to remove mailbox doors or fix them in such a way that the doors cannot be closed without significant effort.
"This is to provide for the safety and well-being of not only the public but also the postal employees that are delivering the mail, " Matuzek said.
"What we are instructing our carriers in Iowa and Nebraska beginning [Monday] is that if they approach a receptacle like [the rural-style mailbox] and it is not open, in an open position, they will not deliver to that receptacle."
The Postal Service manager said the modification order does not affect lock-type mailboxes with a slot, apartment "cluster" mailboxes and mailboxes attached to buildings or residences or immediately adjacent to them. He also said that he believed Illinois would be following suit.
Gov. Mike Johanns urged Nebraskans to be cautious and said anyone who sees something suspicious should call local authorities. Federal officials emphasized that although the devices were found in mailboxes, none was sent through the mail.
Most of the pipes were about 1 inch in diameter and 6 inches long and were attached to wires or a battery.
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