The pipe bombs found on Wednesday afternoon outside the Democratic and Republican party headquarters, blocks from the Capitol, contained crude mechanical timing devices, according to an official familiar with their initial examination, suggesting they were intended to be detonated.
It was not clear when they were meant to explode, but thousands of people were in the area that afternoon as a mob encouraged by President Trump stormed the Capitol, where lawmakers had convened to certify President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s election, leaving five people dead. It was also not clear whether the bombs were connected to the siege.
The two bombs appeared to be similar, the official said. They were relatively unsophisticated and incorporated a mechanical timer, steel wool and an unknown powder as their explosive fill, the official said. One of the devices was found with a cell phone, which could have been incorporated to detonate the bomb.
Photographs of the intact bombs were shared with The New York Times.
Bomb squad technicians disabled the devices, which were constructed of steel pipes that appear to be about one and a half inches in diameter and 12 inches long.
The F.B.I. has posted a $50,000 reward for information about a possible suspect.
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