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ATF puts up $10,000 reward for info on Phoenix IED attacker

6-volt handheld flashlight

A series of three bomb attacks in Arizona using flashlights converted into IEDs has the ATF offering a $10,000 reward for the maker of the devices.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Phoenix Field Division special agent in charge Thomas Atteberry said on May 31 that the reward would be given for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the recent bombings in Glendale and Phoenix, Arizona.

ATF, FBI, Glendale Police Department and the Phoenix Police Department are currently investigating these incidents, said the ATF.

Three Victim-Operated Improvised Explosive Devices (VOIEDs), have been detonated in the Phoenix area since mid-May. The devices are contained within yellow plastic 6-volt handheld flashlights. The devices exploded when the victims picked up what they thought was a discarded item and flipped the on/off switches to see if the flashlights worked.

Two of the incidents occurred in Glendale, AZ, on May 13 and May 14, said ATF. The third incident took place in Phoenix, Arizona, on May 24, it said. Five people received minor injuries related to the detonation of the three devices. ATF said it was withholding further details about the IEDs β€œto avoid compromising the criminal investigation.”

In the May 13, Glendale incident, the flashlight was left near a business and found in the landscaping area for the business. Two people received minor injuries.

On May 14 in Glendale, a flashlight was discovered in the landscaping area for a second business and one person received minor injuries.

On May 24, in Phoenix, the flashlight was found by an employee of a Salvation Army Rehabilitation facility while sorting through donations to the Salvation Army. Two individuals received minor injuries in that explosion, said ATF.

"We are offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for these criminal bombings," said Atteberry, Special Agent in Charge of ATF. "Our immediate concern is that of public safety, if anyone discovers a flashlight that does not belong to them or appears out of place, no matter the color or shape, DO NOT attempt touch or manipulate the flashlight in any way. We are confident the public can assist in providing additional information.”

The agency encourage anyone with information about the crimes is to call its toll-free, 24-hour hotline at 1-888-ATF-BOMB (1-888-283-2662).