'Hazardous' suspected explosive devices found outside RNC and DNC

The devices were found in Washington, D.C., during large-scale protests.

January 7, 2021, 12:07 PM

U.S. Capitol Police confirmed Thursday that the devices found outside of the Democratic National Committee and Republican National Committee, a few blocks from the Capitol, could have caused "great harm."

“The USCP Hazardous Materials Response Team determined that both devices were, in fact, hazardous and could cause great harm to public safety,” police said in statement.

A federal law enforcement source told ABC News that the suspected pipe bombs were active and not fake devices.

ABC News has obtained a photo of one of two suspected explosive devices discovered Wednesday.

ABC News exclusive: Photo of suspected explosive device found near RNC headquarters, Jan. 6, 2021.
ABC News

The device in the photo appears to be wired with a timer and was found adjacent to the Republican National Committee headquarters on First Street, S.E.

After the initial device was discovered near the RNC, police searched the area near the Democratic National Committee headquarters building, a couple of blocks away, and found a second device under a bush. authorities said.

Both buildings are a short distance from the U.S. Capitol, where violent protesters broke through police lines and stormed into the complex just over an hour after the devices were discovered.

"Two suspected explosive devices were rendered safe by the FBI and our law enforcement partners," the FBI said in a statement Wednesday evening.

Bomb technicians used water cannons to blast the devices to essentially break them apart and render them harmless.

Investigators are examining the recovered pieces to look for clues about how the devices was constructed and about the sources of the components, sources said.

Forensic experts are also conducting chemical analyses on any substances found in the devices to determine if they were filled with explosive materials.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department are assisting with the investigation.

"The investigation is ongoing," the FBI said.