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People at Polk County mall evacuated after explosive device detonates

People at Polk County mall evacuated after explosive device detonates

People at Polk County mall evacuated after explosive device detonates

Upon reaching the spot, the fire crews learned that an IED had been detonated in the corridor.

Police are asking for the public's help to identify the suspect. They have released information on two persons of interest.

A middle-aged white male with a heavy/stocky build has been labeled a "person of interest" in this case. "Bomb technicians examined the contents of the backpack and determined it did not contain any incendiary or explosive devices". He said the Federal Bureau of Investigation had been notified but that it was too early to consider whether the incident could be terrorism. Police say the public is safe and the mall is open for business. Eagle Ridge is about 30 miles east of Tampa.

The mall was scheduled to reopen Monday with an increased police presence.

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According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, bomb technicians examining the contents of a backpack found at Eagle Ridge Mall in Lake Wales on Sunday afternoon did not find any explosive materials.

Cops were on the lookout for a man seen fleeing a Florida mall after a pair of pipe bombs ignited in an employee hallway just before closing Sunday evening, according to local reports. They found smoke coming out of a service corridor next to the mall entrance of JCPenney and found two IEDs there.

As they went inside, they discovered two devices described as a type of flare wrapped in PVC and then wrapped in electric tape that had detonated, Schulze told CBS News. They also located a backpack in the same corridor. Part of a drop ceiling was blown to the floor, and a wall of the corridor was singed. "You know that somebody would do that", said Deputy Chief Troy Schulze with the City of Lake Wales Police.

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