Authorities in Florida are looking for a suspect they believe tried to blow up a mall in Lake Wales.
At around 5:20pm, Lake Wales firefighters began responding to reports of an explosion at the Eagle Ridge Mall next to a JC Penny retail store. Emergency services personnel rushed to the scene where they discovered that an improvised explosive device (IED) had been detonated in the corridor.
Eagle Ridge Mall in Lake Wales — the fire department discovered an improvised explosive device had been detonated in a corridor next to the outside entrance to JCPenney pic.twitter.com/wvjl7huB3j
— Gabrielle Shirley (@WFLAGabrielle) January 22, 2018
Searching the premises, the fire crew also found a backpack in the same corridor with another possible bomb. Authorities then cleared the mall. No injuries were reported as a result of the explosion but the parts of the building were damaged.
Police said they are searching for a middle aged, caucasian male. The “person of interest” is of heavy build, and was wearing a grey shirt and grey hat. Polk County Sheriff’s Office, the State Fire Marshall, and the Hillsborough Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad are on the scene.