The FBI is investigating the possibility that a homemade explosive set off near a Colorado NAACP office was a case of domestic terrorism.
Investigators also are considering many other possible motives and have not determined whether the nation's oldest civil rights organization was targeted, spokeswoman Amy Sanders said.
The blast happened Tuesday outside a barbershop that's next door to the NAACP's Colorado Springs chapter. There were no injuries and only minor damage after an improvised explosive device was detonated against the building. A gasoline canister placed next to it did not ignite, Sanders said.
Investigators are looking for a balding white man in his 40s in relation to the incident. They said he may have been driving a dirty pickup truck.
“I am saddened by the act of violence,” Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach said in a statement. “Fortunately there were no injuries or significant damage.”
“Nonetheless,” he said, “this type of criminal act is unacceptable. I expect that law enforcement will work together to solve this crime and bring the responsible individual to justice. There is no place for this type of activity in our city.”
Chapter President Henry Allen Jr. said he was hesitant to call the explosion a hate crime without further information from the FBI and other law enforcement agencies investigating but said the organization "will not be deterred."
"We believe in civil rights for all, and really we won't work in fear and we won't be deterred," he told the the Colorado Springs Gazette. "We'll move on. This won't deter us from doing the job we want to do in the community."
The NAACP’s national office in Baltimore said it's looking forward to a "full and thorough investigation. Chapter volunteer Howard Leroy said its office is open.
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