What to know about the suspicious packages delivered to Clinton, Obama, CNN and more

ABC News' "Nightline" takes a look at how police handled the explosives and suspicious packages delivered and how the events unfolded.
9:03 | 10/25/18

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Transcript for What to know about the suspicious packages delivered to Clinton, Obama, CNN and more
Evacuation. Streets shut down. The bomb squad on the scene. Be advised you're meeting up at central park south and Columbus circle, copy. Reporter: One of the busiest city corners in the world brought to a standstill. For this, what looks like a pipe bomb sent to the CNN mail room. That's a -- excuse me that sounds like a fire alarm here. We'll keep you posted on that -- Reporter: The network surprised on the air, learning along with the rest of the world. Explosive devices and other suspicious packages have sparked police investigations across the country. Down the east coast, from new York to Washington, D.C. To Florida. And a new discovery on the west coast in Los Angeles. Also tonight, sources tell ABC news investigators are looking into a possible eighth package which may have been addressed to former vice president Joe Biden. No one seems to know when or where the next one might pop up. We will not let terrorism win. Not today, not ever. Reporter: It all started two days ago at the home of billionaire liberal philanthropist George Soros north of New York City. George Soros is a well-known liberal financier, a very wealthy man, one of the top funders of democratic causes over the last couple of decades. Reporter: A security guard found a live bomb described as similar to a pipe bomb in Soros' mail box. Late Tuesday night, another explosive device sent to Hillary Clinton, intercepted by the secret service before it reached her home in westchester county, New York. A source familiar with the situation tells ABC news that former president Bill Clinton was at home at the time. The former secretary of state hundreds of miles away on the campaign trail in Florida. Intense security surrounding her every move. We are fine thanks to the men and women of the secret service. But it is a troubling time, isn't it? And it's a time of deep divisions. And we have to do everything we can to bring our country together. Reporter: Just hours later, a suspicious device intercepted in Washington, D.C. On its way to former president Obama. The package was found at a screening facility located in Washington, D.C. The package was immediately identified during the screening procedure, and it never made it to its intended location. Reporter: The area around the former commander in chief's home blocked off, the police chief delivering a stern message to whoever was behind the bomb. Sooner or later, we are going to come and get you and hold you accountable for what you did. Reporter: Back in New York this morning, just after 10:30, CNN was reporting on the spate of suspicious devices when their own alarms began to go off. That's a -- excuse me. That sounds like a fire alarm here. We'll keep you posted on that. Reporter: Employees caught evacuating live on television before the anchors go off air themselves, cutting to commercial. And CNN's employees weren't the only ones who had to evacuate. Their headquarters, located in the Time Warner center, a sprawl ING complex of apartments, shops, theaters, a luxury hotel. The lights went off and staff came in calmly, said to follow the orders of evacuation. We realized it was serious and the tone quickly changed to quiet and quick. We were just thinking or hoping that those bombs weren't going to go off. Pretty scary. We're from all over the country, we're not used to this. Reporter: Heavily armed police quickly converging on the scene. Responding officers identified a device that appeared to be a live explosive device. NYPD bomb squad responded, secured the device, and removed it for investigation. Additionally, there was an envelope containing white powder that was discovered as part of that original packaging. Reporter: Here's a photo of that bomb and the package it came in. It was addressed to former CIA director John Brennan, but it misspelled his last name. Brennan addressed the situation during an interview tonight. I have full confidence in my former law enforcement and intelligence colleagues to get to the bottom of this. It was meant to kill or maim the individual who opened it and anyone in close proximity when they opened it. This clearly is an act of terror. I want to make very clear that the people of New York City will not be intimidated. Reporter: The bomb was carefully moved out of the building and loaded into this truck, called a total containment vessel, or a bomb truck. These devices are dangerous with the potential to maim or kill. These photographs, exclusively obtained by ABC news, provide key sight. Sources telling ABC news each device contained a digital clock, explosive powder, a battery as a power source, and wiring to channel a spark for detonation. Law enforcement officials are hoping to determine where each item connected to the packages was purchased, which might in turn help them identify a suspect or suspects. The forensics will be the most intensive part. They'll first do photographic analysis. They will do fingerprinting. They will do DNA. They will examine the timed power unit. They will examine the cartridge, the container, whatever the explosive filler is. Reporter: All those details now critical to hunting down whoever is responsible. There's so many steps where you could leave genetic material or fingerprints on a bomb, on a package. There's all sorts of things that can catch this guy. I guarantee you they're working all those possibilities. It would be very rare that the full forensic review of the devices would turn up zero evidence for a follow-up investigation. Reporter: But even as that investigation started to ramp up, more suspicious packages continued to pop up. In Maryland, one intercepted at a congressional mail sorting center addressed to democratic California congresswoman Maxine waters. Then this evening another addressed to waters found at a postal facility in Los Angeles. Down in Florida police rushed to the offices of democratic congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. The device there was addressed to former Obama attorney general Eric Holder. These were all shipped in Manila envelopes with six American flag stamps, a return address of congresswoman and former DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz. The shipping critical to who did this, concerns there are more bombs out there with the bomber still at large. Reporter: Wasserman Schultz issued a statement saying, this appalling attack on our democracy must be vigorously prosecuted and I am deeply disturbed by the way my name was used. As investigators take a look at the devices themselves they're also looking at the names of the targets, high-profile people involved in politics, all people or organizations who president trump has attacked or criticized by name. All have been likewise openly critical of the president and his policies. There's no way to know yet who was behind this and what their political motivations were. Reporter: The president employing a different tone today when addressing the investigation. I just want to tell you that in these times, we have to unify. We have to come together. And send one very clear, strong, unmistakable message, that acts or threats of political violence of any kind have no place in the United States of America. Reporter: But just hours ago at a rally in Wisconsin, the president had more to say. No nation can succeed that tolerates violence or the threat of violence as a method of political intimidation, coercion, or control. We all know that. The media also has a responsibility to set a civil tone and to stop the endless hostility and constant negative and oftentimes false attacks and stories. Have to do it. Have to do it. They've got to stop. Reporter: Prominent Democrats now calling for all politicians to cool down the rhetoric. Let's just say this, to all public officials of all partisan affiliations, don't encourage violence. Don't encourage hatred. Don't encourage attacks on media. Reporter: No matter what the bomber intended, whether it was to instill fear or to send a political message, investigators tonight remain laser focused on one goal, finding whoever is responsible. You have to think about this case as a domestic terrorist attack. And that triggers all sorts of things, both in the FBI, ATF, city, county, and state law enforcement. Because they're going to work this case jointly. But they're literally going to probably drop everything else that's not a priority and focus on this. Don't be surprised if they catch this guy quickly.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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