FBI investigating after bombs detonated outside two New Mexico churches

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KRQE) – Two improvised explosive devices were detonated outside of two separate Las Cruces churches Sunday morning.

“These devices were intended to do harm, I believe, and could have done harm to people,” said New Mexico State Police Chief Pete Kassetas.

The first incident happened a little after 8 a.m. outside of the Calvary Baptist Church. Police say a bomb left in a mailbox near the church offices exploded, damaging the building.

About twenty minutes later, another explosion at the Holy Cross Catholic Church a few minutes away. The explosive device there was placed in a trash can. About 200 to 300 people were inside the church for mass when the explosion occurred.

Both churches were evacuated. Nobody was hurt in either explosion.

The FBI, ATF and local and state agencies are now looking into who left the devices. Investigators aren’t saying definitively that the two incidents are connected. Governor Susana Martinez, R-NM, had strong words for the culprit.

“If your intention was to bring fear to those who worship, you have failed,” Martinez said.

Investigators did not identify any suspects Sunday evening.

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