LAS CRUCES, New Mexico — Five years after small explosions outside two churches stirred a scare in Las Cruces the case remains a mystery.
The FBI on Friday reminded the public that it is still looking for tips as it more than doubled the reward offered in the case to $50,000.
"Investigators have conducted more than 700 interviews, and reviewed hundreds of files, tips, and other pieces of information in this investigation. We are determined to solve this case," vowed FBI special agent James Langenberg.
On Aug. 2, 2015, explosive devices detonated at Calvary Baptist Church and Holy Cross Catholic Church. Nobody was injured.
Then on Aug. 14, 2015, an undetonated device was found near the entrance of First Presbyterian Church. Investigators believe this device was placed within hours of the other two devices.
"Fortunately, the devices that went off five years ago didn't hurt anyone, but had they exploded a few minutes earlier or later, it could have been a different story," Langenberg said Friday.
Shortly after the blasts occurred in 2015, the FBI released a video of a person of interest. In the video, a man is seen walking through the parking lot of Calvary Baptist Church around the time of the explosion there. That video can viewed at fbi.gov/wanted/seeking-info/person-of-interest.
On Friday, portions of a letter sent around the time of the incidents were newly released by FBI officials on the chance it could lead to tips. Those read as follows...
“Four religious leaders know of three men who were put in mental institutions because they tried fight back without attorneys for telling the truth. All were scientists at one of the military bases in our area. The religious leaders never came forward to help these men. They are now in hospitals when there is nothing wrong with them.” “Four men had their wives walk out on them while they were in Desert Storm, taking everything our family had for another man.” “When we see these officers of the court arrested and the four religious leaders come forward without political threats, then we will back off.” “You are more dishonest than we are and will have to go over every divorce in the Third Judicial Courthouse to find out who we are and will have to expose just how corrupt the legal system is in Southern New Mexico.”
Federal agents asked that anyone who knows the identity of the letter's author, or has other information about the explosions, to call 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324).