Blacksburg Police Investigate IED Discovery

Wednesday, Aug 1, 2012  |  Updated 7:07 PM EDT
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Blacksburg Police Investigate IED Discovery

A pipe bomb exploded in Blacksburg early Wednesday, damaging a vehicle parked blocks from Virginia Tech's campus.

The improvised explosive device exploded near several vehicles parked behind an apartment complex at about 2:50 a.m., authorities said. A sport utility vehicle appears to have been targeted, said Rich Marianos, special agent with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Authorities did not say who owned the vehicle.

No suspects were immediately identified, and authorities do not yet have a motive. No one was injured in the explosion.

“I think the public needs to understand that this has nothing to do with Virginia Tech,” Marianos said.

There has been heightened awareness on campus and in the town of Blacksburg since a student gunman killed 32 students and faculty and himself at the school in 2007.

Virginia Tech did not alert the campus about the incident because it was not on campus, university spokesman Larry Hincker said. The explosion was just as close to the local police department as it was to the school in the tiny town of fewer than 20 square miles.

Marianos said investigators are looking into whether the explosive was placed on or near the SUV and trying to determine its makeup. He stressed that even the most rudimentary explosive can be dangerous.

“We view any type of explosive instrument as sophisticated and dangerous,” Marianos said.

Blacksburg Police Chief Kim Crannis told reporters a bomb-sniffing dog was brought in to search the area, but nothing was found.

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