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Police suspect New Mexico blast that killed 1 was suicide

February 5, 2019
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Officer Simon Drobik answers questions about an explosion that he says killed one person in Albuquerque, N.M., on Monday, Feb. 4, 2019. Police say they are investigating the explosion that happened in an alley behind a strip mall with a grocery store, pharmacy and several other businesses. (AP Photo/Mary Hudetz)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Police said Tuesday they suspect a man who died in an explosion behind an Albuquerque, New Mexico, strip mall intended to kill himself.

The improvised device exploded Monday in an alley near a busy intersection, killing one man. No one else was injured in the afternoon blast that shook nearby homes and businesses.

A cement wall and dumpster were destroyed in the explosion. Businesses at the mall on the west side of the city were evacuated.

Preliminary evidence indicates the incident was a suicide, police spokesman Officer Simon Drobik said.

Police have said the blast did not appear to be linked to terrorism, and no suspects were under investigation.

“Investigators believe this incident is isolated to the lone individual who was found deceased,” Drobik said.

The name of the man who died has not been released by police, and they have not said whether he had a connection to the mall that includes a grocery store and other businesses.

The FBI and U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were assisting with the investigation, which Drobik described as complicated without providing further details.

Police Chief Michael Geier said no one else was near the blast that could be heard 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) away.

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