FBI Still Hunting for DC Pipe Bomb Suspect 1 Year Later

Bureau still unsure whether suspect is male or female
By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times based in New York. He covers breaking news.
January 6, 2022Updated: January 6, 2022

More than a year after a person was allegedly seen placing two devices that the FBI said were pipe bombs near the offices of the Republican and Democratic national committees in Washington, the bureau is no closer to learning that individual’s identity.

A hooded and masked individual was seen on Jan. 5, 2021—the night before the breach of the U.S. Capitol—placing items that the FBI and other law enforcement entities say were bombs near the two headquarters near Capitol Hill in Washington. Steve D’Antuono, the FBI’s lead agent in Washington, said the devices were disabled before they could explode.

“They could have exploded,” he told CBS News on Jan. 6. “They could have done serious physical injury or death.”

So far, investigators have carried out about 900 interviews and reviewed more than 39,000 video files in a bid to find the individual.

The suspect “was covered from head to toe” and was wearing glasses, a mask, gloves, and a hooded sweatshirt, D’Antuono told the outlet. Officials are unclear whether the individual is male or female, he added.

On Sept. 8, 2021, the FBI released more video footage and additional information about the alleged incident. The footage purports to show the individual sitting on a bench near the Democratic National Committee headquarters near where the device was placed, the FBI said.

unknown individual placed two pipe bombs in the Capitol Hill neighborhood
An unknown individual placed two devices the FBI said were bombs in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington on Jan. 5, 2021. (FBI)

“Identifying the perpetrator of this attempted attack remains a priority for the FBI’s Washington Field Office and our partners at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; U.S. Capitol Police; and D.C. Metropolitan Police Department,” the bureau said in a statement.

According to law enforcement officials, the figure placed the suspected bombs near the Democratic National Committee headquarters at around 7:30 p.m. local time on Jan. 5, 2021. The person then allegedly walked through residential streets near the Capitol and placed another near the Republican National Committee’s offices, officials have said.

“They are viable devices that could have gone off and exploded, causing a lot of serious injury or death,” D’Antuono told ABC News on Jan. 4. “It’s still a priority for us, has always been a priority since day one to find this individual, and we haven’t stopped since the day that we found the devices.”

The devices triggered the evacuation of the U.S. Capitol and nearby buildings when they were found on the afternoon of Jan. 6, officials said. The U.S. Capitol Police responded to the device left near the Republican National Committee, while the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department responded to the one placed near the Democratic National Committee.

D’Antuono appealed to the public to call in with any information related to the unidentified figure. “The fascinating thing right now, we’re not clear on whether this a man or woman,” he said.

He noted that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the fact that the individual was wearing a mask wasn’t seen as unusual.

Previously, the FBI said the bombs included components such as a kitchen timer, homemade black powder, and 1-inch-by-8-inch threaded, galvanized pipes. The FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are offering a reward of up to $100,000.

FBI officials didn’t respond to a request by The Epoch Times for comment by press time.

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