FBI raises reward for information about Jan 6 DC pipe bombs to $500,000

The reward for information leading to the arrest of the individual who placed pipe bombs outside the Washington headquarters of the Democratic and Republican parties has been raised to $500,000.

The announcement came from the FBI Washington Field Office; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) Washington Field Division; and the DC Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) two years into the investigation which has so far not yielded any suspects.

Previously, the reward stood at $100,000.

The suspect placed pipe bombs near the headquarters of the Republican National Committee and the Democratic National Committee in a Capitol Hill neighbourhood between 7.30pm and 8.30pm on 5 January 2021 — the night before the Capitol riot.

“For two years, a dedicated team of FBI agents, analysts, and law enforcement partners have been tirelessly reviewing evidence and digital media related to this case,” said David Sundberg, assistant director in charge of the FBI Washington Field Office, in a press release about the new reward.

To date, the FBI and its partners have conducted approximately 1,000 interviews, visited more than 1,200 residences and businesses, collected more than 39,000 video files, and assessed nearly 500 tips.

“We remain grateful to the American people, who have provided invaluable tips that have helped us advance the investigation,” Mr Sundberg continued. “With the significantly increased reward, we urge those who may have previously hesitated to contact us — or who may not have realised they had important information — to review the information on our website and come forward with anything relevant. Despite the unprecedented volume of data review involved in this case, the FBI and our partners continue to work relentlessly to bring the perpetrator of these dangerous attempted attacks to justice.”

Although the bombs did not detonate, the FBI underlines how they could have seriously injured or killed innocent bystanders. Moreover, the suspect may still pose a danger to the public or themselves.

Among the evidence available to view are clear images and video of the suspect, clearly showing clothes, backpack, explosive devices, what they comprised of, and the route the suspect took.

Vice President Kamala Harris was one of many Democrats who were physically present at the DNC headquarters before the pipe bomb was discovered by authorities outside the building.

The then-future vice president even drove within a few yards of the yet-undiscovered device on the morning of 6 January, CNN reported on the year anniversary of the Capitol riot.

Ms Harris was “evacuated using an alternate route away from the bomb” according to CNN, roughly seven minutes before US Capitol Police began their investigation into the device at DNC headquarters, located just a couple of blocks south of the Capitol.

Ms Harris’s location during the violence on January 6 was not known, as she was in the area of Capitol Hill and had been in the building earlier in the day for a classified briefing.

“I was here at the Capitol that morning, at a classified hearing with fellow members of the Senate Intelligence Committee,” she said during remarks memorialising the one-year anniversary of the attack.

The bomb threat at the DNC was not declared clear until nearly 5pm, more than two hours after Vice President Mike Pence was evacuated from the Senate floor as rioters stormed the Capitol complex.