FBI offers $10,000 reward for information on blast near Colorado NAACP

An improvised explosive detonated outside an NAACP office in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Tuesday. Officials with the FBI said no one was injured and they are investigating a wide range of motives in the attack.

The FBI offered a $10,000 reward Friday for information leading to an arrest in connection with an explosion outside the offices of a Colorado chapter of the NAACP, and released a composite sketch of a person of interest in the case.

Thomas Ravenelle, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Denver division, told reporters that while investigators have not confirmed that the National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People was the target of the attack, his office was not ruling out any possibilities.

“I’m not going to be naive; I know what the NAACP means to some extremists in this country,” Ravenelle said.

Around 10:45 a.m. Tuesday, a gasoline can was placed outside a building that houses both the NAACP’s Colorado Springs chapter and a barbershop.


The contents of the can did not ignite properly, according to the FBI, and the explosion caused only minimal damage to the building. No one was injured.

A law enforcement official previously told the Los Angeles Times the device was meant to function like a pipe bomb. Ravenelle on Friday declined to answer questions about the device or the contents of the canister.

Aside from the placement of the device, Ravenelle said, investigators have yet to gather any other evidence to show the NAACP was the target of the attack.

Earlier this week, Sondra Young, president of the Denver chapter of the NAACP, said the attack “raises questions of a potential hate crime,” but Ravenelle said his office was investigating the incident as a bombing.

The FBI’s $10,000 reward offer is for any information leading to an arrest in the case.

A man described as about 40 is a person of interest in the investigation. He may be driving a 2000 or older dirty white pickup truck with paneling, a dark-colored bed liner, an open tailgate and a missing or covered license plate.

As for the composite sketch, Ravenelle said it was drawn based on witness statements.

Ravenelle said the man was seen carrying something down an alley moments before the explosion, then exiting the alley empty-handed. It remains unclear if he was acting alone, though Ravenelle said he had no evidence to indicate others were involved.

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