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Pipe Bomb Suspect Remains A Mystery 4 Months After Capitol Riot

·Senior Reporter, HuffPost
·2 min read

The night before thousands of Donald Trump’s supporters marched on and stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election, an individual was spotted on security cameras placing two pipe bombs around Capitol Hill. Four months later, that individual has still eluded authorities.

During a House oversight committee hearing on Wednesday, lawmakers sought answers to lingering questions about the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, including what preparations ― if any ― the Trump administration made in advance of the attack, and the administration’s response as the attack unfolded.

Among those lingering questions was who placed pipe bombs outside the Democratic National Committee headquarters and Republican National Committee headquarters the night before the insurrection.

“To me, that’s a preplanned attack,” Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio) said in his question to D.C. Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee on Wednesday. “Do you agree?”

While Contee agreed the attack was preplanned, and said federal authorities ― along with D.C. Metropolitan Police ― are still investigating, he said they still don’t know who the attacker was, or whether that person coordinated with insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol a day later.

“No one has been apprehended. That investigation continues on,” Contee said.

The FBI is still trying to identify the individual who left two pipe bombs around Capitol Hill a day before the insurrection. (Photo: FBI)
The FBI is still trying to identify the individual who left two pipe bombs around Capitol Hill a day before the insurrection. (Photo: FBI)

The lack of information is particularly surprising, given that, in the past four months, hundreds of Capitol rioters have been arrested and charged by the FBI. On March 9, the FBI released new security camera video of the pipe bomb suspect.

The video shows a person with a backpack wearing a COVID-19 face mask and a gray hooded sweatshirt. The individual is also wearing a pair of black and light gray Nike Air Max Speed Turf shoes with a yellow logo, according to the FBI. The bombs were placed between 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

“These pipe bombs were viable devices that could have been detonated, resulting in serious injury or death,” FBI Washington Field Office Assistant Director Steven D’Antuono said in the March 9 statement.

Capitol Police Inspector General Michael Bolton testified Monday that U.S. Capitol Police had a manpower shortage, citing the pipe bomb response as an example. When the devices were discovered Jan. 6, three teams left to investigate the threat, leaving just one team in charge of protecting the Capitol.

“If those pipe bombs were intended to be a diversion, it worked,” Bolton testified.

The FBI is offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to the identification of the pipe bomb suspect. They are asking people to contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI or submit tips online at tips.fbi.gov. Tips can be submitted anonymously.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.

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