Washington — Federal investigators are offering a reward worth $500,000 for any information leading to the arrest of an individual who placed pipe bombs near the headquarters of the Republican National Committee and the Democratic National Committee in Washington, D.C., on the night before the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.
The FBI’s announcement of the half-a-million-dollar reward comes as investigators again seek the public’s help to find the individual who placed viable explosives around the Capitol building on Jan. 5, 2021. In the last year, investigators have made little progress in identifying a suspect – according to people familiar with the matter – and the five-fold increase on Wednesday reflects the case’s stagnation. Investigators previously listed a reward of $100,000 for any information leading to an arrest.
The two bombs did not detonate as planned and were discovered the following afternoon, but federal authorities say they were functioning and could have seriously injured or killed innocent bystanders near the political buildings.
In the nearly two years since the bombs were planted, law enforcement says the various agencies looking into the matter – including the FBI, ATF, and U.S. Capitol Police – have conducted approximately 1,000 interviews, visited more than 1,200 locations, and collected more than 39,000 videos in an attempt to identify the suspect.
According to the FBI, on the evening of Jan. 5, 2021, less than 24 hours before pro-Trump rioters would storm the U.S. Capitol, a masked suspect wearing a hooded sweatshirt and hand gloves carried a backpack around Washington, D.C.’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.
Surveillance video released by the FBI shows the suspect walking on sidewalks, outsides of homes, and in parks and alleyways before planting the pipebombs near the DNC and RNC buildings between approximately 7:30 and 8:30 that evening. In one video, a bystander walking a dog passes the suspect.
According to the FBI, “multiple law enforcement agencies received reports” of the explosives at around 1 p.m. on Jan. 6, 2021, roughly the time members of the mob began breaking down barricades outside the Capitol building.
Then-Vice President-elect Kamala Harris was evacuated from the Democratic National Committee headquarters when one of the pipe bombs was unearthed near that location, a White House official confirmed to CBS News last year.
In a statement released Wednesday, David Sundberg, assistant director in charge of the FBI Washington Field Office, said, “With the significantly increased reward, we urge those who may have previously hesitated to contact us—or who may not have realized they had important information—to review the information on our website and come forward with anything relevant.
“The FBI and our partners continue to work relentlessly to bring the perpetrator of these dangerous attempted attacks to justice.”
Though they haven’t solved the pipebomb mystery, federal investigators have charged more than 940 individuals for alleged crimes stemming from the alleged Jan. 6 attack, of which hundreds are accused of assaulting officers that day.