WASHINGTON — The FBI has yet been able to find the man who left two potentially deadly pipe bombs near the Republican and Democratic national headquarters on the Southeast side of Capitol Hill on Jan. 5th.
Some experts suspect the bombs were a deliberate effort to divert police away from the Capitol just before the insurrection on Jan. 6. The night before the riots, the FBI says a man in a gray hoodie and a mask placed pipe bombs in an alley and under a park bench on Capitol Hill.
They were attached to kitchen timers, and officials say they were primed to explode.
"There are some pieces of the puzzle we just do not have," said FBI Assistant Director Steven D'Antuono, who is in charge of the Washington Field Office.
Surveillance video released by the FBI shows a dog walker actually strolled right past the suspect. D'Antuono is asking neighbors to turn back the clock to the evening of January 5 to see if they notice someone near North Carolina Avenue, Southeast or Folger Park between 6:30 and 9 p.m.
The suspect was wearing distinctive Nike Air Max shoes and carrying a backpack. A mask covers his face, and a hood covers much of his head. Despite being captured on several different surveillance cameras, you can never clearly see his face.
"As frustrating as it is for you, it's frustrating for us too," said D'Antuono.
D'Antuono asks people on Capitol Hill who still have video from Jan. 5 from Ring doorbells or other cameras to contact the FBI.
Investigators say he may have cased the area even before placing the bombs. You may have run into him at the Starbucks.
"I hope maybe a viewer out there will identify that gait, or the mannerisms that the individual has," said D'Antuono.
D'Antuono said he can't be certain if the suspect is local or from out of town, whether he acted alone or with others, what his race is, or even his gender.
"Everything you're asking is everything we're asking as well," he said.
The FBI spent more than a decade searching for Unabomber Ted Kasinski ... before his brother recognized his writing and turned him in. Agents said it can be tough for someone to turn in a relative, but the alternative is worse.
"If the person does this again, and maybe this time the bomb goes off, I wouldn't want to live with that," said D'Antuono.
The reward for information leading to the bomber is now up to $100,000.