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Exclusive Details On Capitol Hill Pipe Bomb Probe As FBI Ups Reward

The FBI has conducted every type of lab test on the devices, from fingerprints to DNA, but nothing has generated strong leads.
Posted at 8:35 PM, Jan 04, 2023

Friday marks two years since the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. And one part of the investigation that remains unsolved is who planted pipe bombs outside the headquarters of the Republican and Democratic National Committees. 

Those bombs never went off, and no arrests have been made. Now the FBI is upping the reward for information to $500,000.

Video footage captured the person covered head to toe casually walking down the sidewalks of Washington, D.C. the evening before the U.S. Capitol siege

A source familiar with the FBI’s investigation tells Scripps News the FBI has done every type of lab test on the devices, from fingerprints to DNA, and nothing has generated leads that point to a suspect. 

Still, the source says, "the case has definitely not gone cold." They say agents and analysts are continuing to look back for what they might have missed.  

Scripps News was the first to report last year that the FBI believed the bomber or bombers to be an anti-government type — someone who traveled to the nation’s capital. That remains the FBI’s leading hypothesis, according to the source. 

But a major challenge comes from gaps in video footage. The Capitol Hill neighborhood doesn’t have as much surveillance as people think, despite its proximity to the U.S. Capitol. And many houses and home security cameras are set back from the sidewalks along the suspect’s path. 

Exclusive New Details On FBI Investigation Into The Jan. 6 Pipe Bomber

Exclusive New Details On FBI Investigation Into The Jan. 6 Pipe Bomber

Little has been revealed about that federal probe, but a Newsy investigation shows several theories the FBI is pursuing.


"These investigations are like a mosaic. All these tiles need to fit together, and it really takes that one small piece coming together from some community member or a piece of forensic evidence that ties the whole thing and makes that picture clear. That takes time," said Tom O'Connor, a former FBI special agent.   

Scripps News has learned that the FBI has conducted more than 1,000 interviews — 200 more than they publicly said they conducted in the previous year. And they’ve examined some 45,000 records including metro, Uber and Lyft traffic to collate with other data. Analysts have continued to work this investigation since day one looking for that one break. 

"As time passes, people may feel more free to discuss things. And also, if we look at extremist elements across the board over history, there's a lot of infighting. So it could potentially be that somebody who knows something has a falling out with someone who they may want to provide information to law enforcement to get that person jammed up," O'Connor said.  

Another source close to the investigation says the FBI is taking another look at service contractors who were working inside buildings in the area that day who they believe may have lied in initial interviews. The source confirms there has been little progress in the investigation. 

The FBI is scheduled to brief both the DNC and RNC later this winter.