Police seek clues, witnesses after bombing of DA's office

Medford police are looking for a black or dark-colored, two-door convertible sports car that was seen in the area close to the time a partially detonated propane-tank bomb damaged the Jackson County District Attorney's Office early Wednesday morning.

Witnesses reported seeing the vehicle driving southbound on King Street at a high rate of speed, Medford police Chief Tim George said at a press conference Thursday. The make and model were not available, but George pointed to the smaller BMW Z3 as an example of what witnesses described.

"It doesn't mean it's that type. We're just looking for a small, newer-type sports car, black or dark in color with a convertible top," George said. "Not necessarily a suspect vehicle, but if it's not a suspect vehicle, it's certainly a witness vehicle we need to talk to."

Police plan to go door to door in the nearby neighborhood to see whether any neighbors have personal surveillance systems that may have captured something during the early-morning hours. George also encouraged those living in the area with such systems to contact Detective Bill Ford at 541-774-2236.

"It's certainly not uncommon now for people to have exterior video cameras on their residences, maybe on their garages," George said. "There is a lot of commercial video out there that we certainly are looking at, but now we want to extend that into the residential area in addition to the commercial video we looked at."

The blast from the homemade bomb destroyed several windows on the front end of the DA's offices at 715 W. 10th St. at about 4:38 a.m. Wednesday. The boom echoed in nearby neighborhoods and caused fire to spray from the tank. The device, attached to a propane tank, did not detonate fully. Police continued to decline comment on the workings of the device Thursday, saying they want to keep the bomb's intricacies close to the chest as the investigation continues.

"I'm not going to speak to the type of device or what's attached to the device," George said. "That's all part of the forensic examination that's going on here."

The joint investigation among Medford police, the FBI, Oregon State Police Bomb Squad, Jackson County Sheriff's Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives closed the DA's office and canceled some court hearings Wednesday. Employees went back to work Thursday, but the damaged building in the complex remained closed while crews did repairs. Trials and motions were canceled, but grand jury and arraignments went ahead as scheduled.

Medford police and other agencies believe the attack was a targeted one, possibly an act of domestic terrorism.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or by email at rpfeil@mailtribune.com.

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