FBI: Flares, not explosives, went off at Florida mall
Jan. 22, 2018
LAKE WALES, Fla. (AP) — The Federal Bureau of Investigation says two items believed to be marine flares ignited in a hallway at a Florida mall, creating a large amount of smoke on Sunday afternoon.
Police had initially said they were IEDs. However, FBI spokeswoman Andrea Aprea said in a statement Monday there's no indication of any explosion at the Eagle Ridge Mall in Lake Wales.
Police and fire officials found smoke in a service corridor outside J.C. Penney and discovered what they believed to be an IED along with a book bag.
Aprea said bomb technicians found no trace of incendiary or explosive devices. She said there's no current indication of terrorism.
Lake Wales Deputy Chief Troy Schulze said in an email Monday that officials are searching for two "persons of interest." Both are white men. One is believed to be middle-aged while the second is between 20 and 40.
The mall was evacuated but opened for business on Monday, Schulze said.
No one was injured.