A package ‘containing nails and pieces of metal’ addressed to Austin has exploded inside a FedEx facility in a suburb of San Antonio, Texas.
One member of staff suffered a mild injury in the explosion, which took place at a distribution center in Schertz, northeast of the city.
The package detonated as it was moving from one conveyor belt to another and the member of staff was not hit by the contents, local news reports.
The package detonated just before 12.30am, and the female staffmember was treated for a headache, according to CBS Austin.
The website reported that the package contained shrapnel made up of ‘nails and pieces of metal’.
Federal agents say this package, destined for Austin, is likely linked to attacks by what they believe is a serial bomber, which have left two dead and four injured in the Texas city.
Police also said they have still been unable to determine a motive for the string of bombings which have killed two people in Austin and put the city of nearly one million on edge.
On Sunday, two men were left seriously injured when they are believed to have triggered a tripwire on a sidewalk in a southwestern Austin residential neighborhood known as Travis Country.
It forced police to warn nearby residents to remain indoors overnight as investigators looked for links to three other package bombings in the city this month.
Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said in a Monday morning press conference they are dealing with a ‘serial bomber’ and that the latest attack showed a ‘higher level of skill’ than the three previous bombings.
‘We’re clearly dealing with what we expect to be a serial bomber at this point based on the similarities between now what is the fourth device,’ the police chief said.
‘(But) what we have seen now is a significant change from what appeared to be three very targeted attacks to what was last night an attack that would have hit a random victim that happened to walk by.’
‘So we’ve definitely seen a change in the method that this suspect or suspects are using.’
In the earlier bombings, two African-American men were killed by packages left on their doorsteps, raising the possibility of a hate crime. A 75-year-old Hispanic woman was also injured in a blast.
Manley said the latest attack, which injured the two white males, appeared ‘random’ and was triggered by a tripwire.
He added that it was an escalation from the package bombs that had targeted the previous victims.
‘A trip wire doesn’t necessarily suggest a military background,’ Manley said.
‘But it suggests that the suspect or suspects we are dealing with have a higher level of sophistication than we believed, as they’re changing their methods to a more difficult device.’
The two men injured in the latest blast where white men, while the two men killed were black.
The first was a package bomb that exploded at a northeast Austin home on March 2, killing a 39-year-old Anthony Stephan House.
Two more package bombs then exploded farther south on March 12. Draylen Mason, 17, was killed and his mother was wounded after they opened a package in their kitchen.
A 75-year-old Hispanic woman named by family as Esperanza Herrera was severely injured when a package bomb exploded at her home a few hours later.
The families of the two men who died knew each other and both men were involved in activism in the black community. It led to speculation of a racial motive in the attacks but that has not been confirmed by investigators.