FBI releases new video in D.C. pipe bomb case

▶ Watch Video: FBI releases new video of pipe bomb suspect near U.S. Capitol

The FBI has released new surveillance video of the person suspected of placing pipe bombs at the headquarters of the Republican National Committee and the Democratic National Committee in January.

The footage, which the FBI released Tuesday along with a new wanted poster, shows the suspected pipe bomber the evening of January 5, walking along residential Capitol Hill streets and sitting on a bench, fiddling with something at their feet. 

“The FBI is asking the public to watch the videos of this person – you may recognize their gait, body language, or mannerisms,” the FBI said in a press release. “We are asking the public to come forward with any information that could assist us, including any odd or out-of-character behavior you noticed in a family member, friend, or coworker, leading up to or after January 5th.”

In the video, the suspected bomber can be seen on a residential sidewalk standing beside a backpack — which the FBI said was used to transport the bombs. The suspect appears to put on glasses, gazing across the street as a man walks past with his dog. Later, the suspect can be seen stretching an arm as they walk down the sidewalk holding the backpack at their side.

The FBI said the suspect may have entered a vehicle or taken an item from a vehicle and placed it into the backpack.

Around 1 p.m. on January 6, as Capitol rioters began to breach police barricades around the outer perimeter of the U.S. Capitol, authorities said, two pipe bombs were found at the DNC and RNC headquarters — both located blocks from the U.S. Capitol — after a passerby spotted a pipe and tangle of wires near the RNC building and alerted authorities.

The FBI said the bombs were placed outside the RNC and DNC the night before the attack, between 7:30 and 8:30 p.m. January 5. According to a source familiar with the investigation, the FBI has been reviewing hundreds of videos taken around that time.

According to a report obtained by CBS News, the bombs contained only one method of detonation — a 60-minute kitchen timer. The report — which was written by the National Explosives Task Force, a multi-agency group that coordinates explosive expertise for law enforcement and intelligence agencies — suggested there was no evidence of a second or remote detonation method such as a cell phone. 

If the devices were planted and set the evening of January 5, as the FBI has suggested, law enforcement sources told CBS News the devices were likely designed to explode the day before the electoral college certification.

Federal law enforcement sources said the FBI forensic review has narrowed down retailers who sold the 60-minute kitchen timers, as well as the end caps used to assemble the pipe bomb.

The National Explosives Task Force report also said that one device included a 9-volt battery which measured a voltage of approximately 8.1 volts. Scott Sweetow, a retired ATF and former acting Director of the FBI’s Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center, said the low-voltage battery may have been a contributing factor that explained the device’s failure to detonate.

In the Tuesday press release, FBI Washington Assistant Director in Charge Steven D’Antuono said, “We still believe there is someone out there who has information they may not have realized was significant until now. We know it can be a difficult decision to report information about family or friends – but this is about protecting human life. These pipe bombs were viable devices that could have been detonated, resulting in serious injury or death.”

Previous surveillance photos released by the FBI showed the suspected pipe bomber walking in an unmarked alleyway behind the RNC, covered up in a hoodie, mask and gloves — yet the suspect also carried a backpack in their hand and wore distinctive yellow, black and grey Nike Air Max Speed Turf sneakers.

At a press call in January, D’Antuono said the pipe bomb investigation was a “top priority,” adding that the bureau needed to identify the person or people responsible “for the safety of the American people.”

The FBI is offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to the identification of the person suspected of placing the bombs.

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