WASHINGTON (7News) — The FBI announced Wednesday a big increase in the reward for information on the suspect who placed pipe bombs near the Republican National Committee and Democratic National Committee headquarters on Capitol Hill one day before the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Federal authorities, including the Metropolitan Police Department, have raised the reward from $100,000 to $500,000.
The suspect placed the pipe bombs between approximately 7:30 and 8:30 p.m. on Jan. 5, officials said.
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“For two years, a dedicated team of FBI agents, analysts, and law enforcement partners have been tirelessly reviewing evidence and digital media related to this case,” said David Sundberg, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office. "We remain grateful to the American people, who have provided invaluable tips that have helped us advance the investigation. With the significantly increased reward, we urge those who may have previously hesitated to contact us -- or who may not have realized they had important information -- to review the information on our website and come forward with anything relevant."
The FBI previously released images and video of the suspect, the suspect’s backpack, the suspect’s shoes, the explosive devices and a map of the route the suspect walked the night the pipe bombs were placed.
Investigators also noted that many of the components used to build the pipe bombs were widely available for purchase in-store and online, and include 1-by-8-inch threaded galvanized pipes, end caps, kitchen timers, wires, metal clips and homemade black powder.
Although the bombs did not detonate, the FBI said it is important to remember that the suspect walked along residential and commercial areas in Capitol Hill, just blocks from the U.S. Capitol, with viable pipe bombs that could have seriously injured or killed innocent bystanders. Moreover, the suspect may still pose a danger to the public or themselves.
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To date, the FBI and its partners have conducted approximately 1,000 interviews, visited more than 1,200 residences and businesses, collected more than 39,000 video files, and assessed nearly 500 tips, officials said.
“We are proud to stand alongside our partners as we increase our reward contribution to help identify the person or persons responsible for placing these pipe bombs and threatening our community,” said ATF Washington Field Division acting Special Agent in Charge Christopher Amon. “The ATF’s determination and commitment to this investigation will not waver. Public safety is of the utmost priority in this ongoing investigation, and we remain dedicated to making sure those responsible are brought to justice.”
D.C. 's police Chief Robert J. Contee III said, “MPD continues to work alongside our federal partners to locate the individual or individuals behind these heinous attempted acts. We know our most powerful tool is information from our community. With your help and our federal partnerships, the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department will remain focused on bringing this matter to closure – for the safety of our entire community.”
The FBI asks those providing tips about potentially relevant people of interest to compile and provide as many details as possible (biographic information, contact information, demographic information, proximity to D.C. in early January 2021, and access to pipe bomb components) to ensure authorities can adequately vet the information.
If you have any information, please call the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324), or submit tips online here. Tips can remain anonymous.