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FBI releases new video of suspect planting bombs before Capitol riot

NBC News logo NBC News 3/9/2021 Pete Williams
a person standing on a sidewalk © Provided by NBC News

The FBI released new videos Tuesday that investigators said show the person suspected of planting two pipe bombs the night before the January Capitol riot.

"These pipe bombs were viable devices that could have been detonated, resulting in injury or death. We need the public's help to identify the individual responsible for placing these pipe bombs, to ensure they will not harm themselves or anyone else," said Steven D'Antuono, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI's Washington, DC field office.

The FBI said the bombs were planted between 7:30 and 8:30 pm ET on Jan. 5, outside the separate national offices of the Republican and Democratic National Committees. Both are located a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol.

Videos made public last month showed the person believed to be the suspect walking through the neighborhood, wearing a gray hoodie, face mask, and carrying a backpack. The FBI said the suspect also wore distinctive footwear — Nike Air Max Speed Turf shoes with black, gray, and yellow details.

The newly released videos show the suspect walking on the sidewalk a few blocks from the Capitol, then stopping to put down the backpack before beginning to walk again. Other scenes show the person sitting down on a park bench and walking down an alley.

Investigators said both devices appeared fully functional, made out of metal pipe an inch in diameter, containing homemade black powder, with a common wind-up timer attached. They did not go off.

The discovery of the two devices, which took place 90 minutes before rioters stormed the Capitol, pulled dozens of police away from their usual posts. Steven Sund, the former chief of the US Capitol Police, has said he believes the bombs were planted as a diversionary tactic.

In releasing the video, the FBI said agents hope someone may recognize the way the suspect's gait, body language, or other mannerisms. Agents said the suspect might also have taken something from a vehicle parked a few blocks from the Capitol between 6:30 and 9:30 p.m. ET on Jan. 5.

The FBI is offering a $100,000 reward for information that leads to the identification of the suspect.

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