Oregon bomb investigators looking for sports car

AP News
Posted: Nov 14, 2013 4:31 PM
Oregon bomb investigators looking for sports car

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — Police investigating an early morning explosion outside a prosecutor's office in Southern Oregon were chasing several leads Thursday, including reports of a sports car speeding from the scene, as they work to figure out who was responsible for the device that blew out windows, but did no serious damage.

Medford Police Chief Tim George said a person who lives about two blocks from the Jackson County district attorney's office was outside about 4:30 a.m. Wednesday, heard the blast and then saw the car speed by.

"In a vehicle like that, when a guy is going through the gears, it was obvious to the witness who saw it they weren't sticking around, or were in a hurry to get someplace," George said.

The vehicle was described as a dark, two-door convertible.

Dozens of federal investigators specializing in bomb attacks from around the Northwest have gathered to help sift through the evidence left when the device partially detonated in front of the Jackson County District Attorney's Office. No one was injured in the blast.

Police said a 5-gallon propane tank similar to what someone might use in a gas barbecue was apparently part of the device, but didn't explode. If it had, the blast might have destroyed the one-story brick building.

Investigators from state and local police, the FBI, and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, finished gathering up the bits of evidence left from the blast, George said.

District Attorney Beth Heckert said her staff of about 30 people was moving back into the office after doing some cleaning up and resuming normal operations, such as trials and grand jury proceedings.

"People are apprehensive," she said. "But by the same token, we are not going to be intimidated by someone doing something like this. We've faced threats in the past. They haven't had this result. I think that kind of startles people and makes people realize we do deal with a lot of dangerous criminals."

Meanwhile, police were going door to door in the neighborhood asking for any outdoor surveillance video that might show something, George said. Investigators have already reviewed videos from business and government buildings.

There were no surveillance cameras working at the district attorney's office, Heckert said.

Police were also trying to track down two people seen running through the neighborhood at the time of the blast. One seen by a resident may have been carrying a flashlight. One spotted by a policeman got away, and a tracking dog failed to find the person.

George said investigators were looking at other explosions around the region, including two in Coos Bay targeting a cross-shaped veterans memorial and a prayer chapel, but there was no evidence that they were connected.