FBI increases reward for information on RNC, DNC pipe bomb suspect to $100K

Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump protest outside the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C. Demonstrators breached security and entered the Capitol as Congress debated the 2020 presidential election Electoral Vote Certification. | ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images

Federal officials have raised the reward for information leading to the arrest of the individual who placed explosive devices at the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee before the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

Two pipe bombs were left outside the offices of the DNC and the RNC between 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on Jan. 5, FBI Washington revealed in a tweet thread Friday. The explosives were discovered the following day.

A photo of a potential suspect released by the FBI. | Federal Bureau of Investigation

“The individual wore a face mask, a gray hoodie, and Nike Air Max Speed Turf shoes in black, gray, and yellow,” the bureau described.

The reward being offered by the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for “information leading to the identification, arrest, and prosecution of the perpetrator or perpetrators” has been raised to $100,000.

The reward was originally set at $50,000 and previously raised to $75,000 earlier this month.

Those with tips are urged to call 1-800-CALL-FBI.

Since the targeted buildings are a few blocks from the Capitol, it’s not known whether the explosive devices were related to the riot that resulted in five Americans' deaths.

Officials havereleased hazy surveillance camera images of a potential suspect, who carried a backpack.

“As you can imagine, this is an enormous endeavor. But let me assure you, we are up to the task,” FBI Assistant Director in Charge Steven M. D’Antuono said during a call with reporters last week.

“This case is challenging. It is complex and it is big — both in size and scope. But at the FBI, we do big, and we do challenging, and we do complex.”

The two bombs appeared to have similarities. Both were about a foot long with end caps and wiring that appeared to be attached to a timer, law enforcement officials were quoted as saying by The Associated Press.

The storming of the Capitol came as President Donald Trump was delivering his speech at the Save America March rally held at the Ellipse near the White House. Thousands of his supporters peacefully attended the event.

After his speech, thousands walked to the Capitol, where a separate planned rally was to be held that afternoon. That event, however, never took place because the riot had already ensued.

In his speech to supporters, the president said Republicans need to “fight much harder.” He also urged them to protest the election results' certification, which he argues were tainted by election fraud. Trump also urged supporters to march to the Capitol to “peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”

“We’re going to cheer on brave senators and congressmen and women, and we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them,” Trump said. “Because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength and you have to be strong.”

While the president said he would go with his supporters to the Capitol, he didn’t, though he encouraged them to “fight like hell” for the country.

“If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore,” he said. “Let the weak ones get out,” he went on. “This is a time for strength.”

CNN reported earlier this month that among the evidence the FBI is analyzing are indications that some who took part in the Ellipse rally left early to retrieve items that were used in the assault on the Capitol.

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