Two Explosives Detonate Inside Florida Mall

 

A Florida shopping mall was evacuated on Sunday (January 21) night after two improvised explosive devices went off inside. According to WFTS, nobody was injured in the blasts. The explosion started a fire, which caused damage to wall and ceiling. 

Fire officials found two detonated pipe bombs and a backpack, filled with more explosive devices. Police completed a search of the mall and did not find any other explosives.

Newsweek reports the devices were "flare-like objects in PVC pipe, wrapped in electrical tape." Lake Wales Deputy Police Chief Troy Schulze said that the bombs could have injured somebody if they were close by when they went off. 

Local authorities said it is too early to speculate if the attack is terrorism, but have alerted the FBI. Police say they are looking for "a middle-aged white male, heavy build, wearing a gray shirt and gray hat."

 Florida Governor Rick Scott thanked the first responders on Twitter:

I spoke with FDLE & local law enforcement tonight about this incident. I’m grateful for Florida’s first responders and law enforcement who are working to keep everyone safe in Lake Wales tonight. 

 

WTSP reports the mall will re-open on Monday morning. 

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