ATF wants more information from the public to tie up loose ends in Monroe car bomb case

MONROE, Mich., (WXYZ) - The pieces are falling into place tonight, as federal agents try to solve a car bombing that injured a Monroe County attorney and his two sons last month. But investigators say they still need help to complete the puzzle.

ATF agents say they have received hundreds of tips but they want more people to call information in to them: 1-888-ATF-BOMB.

"We have several persons of interest, and we're trying to rule people out. So it takes time, things that may be obvious, that people think are obvious – well if it's obvious, it's obvious to us too, but that doesn't necessarily mean that's the correct person. So we have to rule it out," said ATF Special Agent Donald Dawkins.

Dawkins confirmed today that his agents are investigating several of Erik Chappell's clients.

"He had so many clients, and it's such a big pool of individuals that we need to look at. We have to rule a lot of people out, and that's where we're going. We would like to make a quick arrest in this, we wish we could have. We can't. We have to do our due diligence," said Dawkins.

On September 30, Chapell was driving his boys, Cole and Grant, to football practice when a pipe bomb that had been placed under the passenger side of his Volvo exploded.

Sources tell the Action News Investigators that a defendant in a divorce case that Chappell was pursuing has been visited by federal agents. His name isn't being released because he has not formally been named as a person of interest.

Sources also tell the Investigators the pipe bomb was filled with ball bearings. Dawkins today said all the evidence has now been analyzed.

"We're pretty confident on what kind of device it was. We're trying to get on the initiation part now – that's what we're working on now. We're pretty sure how it was initiated but there are some things we need to gather up and clear up before we'll be confident with all certainty how it was initiated. But let me say this, evidence has led us to additional leads."

By initiated, Dawkins means how the device was set off – was it a timer, was it done by remote detonation? That's going to be very crucial information for the case. Agents hope to make "significant progress" on the case in the next few weeks, and Action News has been told the next few days could be very important for the investigation.
 

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