The couple who carried out the San Bernardino, Calif., terrorist attack last year also tried to detonate a bomb in the building, the FBI said Friday.
David Bowdich, the bureau’s top investigator into the Dec. 2 attack, said Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik likely attempted to detonate a pipe bomb hidden inside of a bag at the Inland Regional Center, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Bowdich said the agency is still unsure whether the couple planned to detonate the bomb on first responders or paramedics tending to the wounded after the attack.
Farook brought the bag carrying the bomb into the facility when he arrived at 8:37 a.m., Bowdich said. The bomb was “armed and ready to detonate,” and police found a remote control for a toy car in the couple’s SUV.
The couple drove around San Bernardino and Redlands for several hours before their deaths in a gunfight with police. During that window, they did not stray far from the building.
A federal official previously told the Times that they may not have been able to set off the device because the remote was out of range.
Bowdich said the mystery remains unsolved, as they have not been able to find any schematics or written plans indicating how they might use the bomb.
“And I will be quite frank: I am not sure we will ever know that answer,” he said.
The two attackers killed 14 and injured 21 in the attack. Authorities said Malik pledged her support to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria in a social media message at the time of the massacre.