A city employee found a backpack Monday morning, just before the parade was to start, in a parking lot that was both on the parade route and across the street from a performing arts center that hosted a pre-parade rally. More than 1,000 people attended the parade, according to the Spokesman-Review.
Police responded, followed by the FBI. Several blocks around the parking lot were shut down, and the parade was re-routed. The area was shut down all day, as agents first dismantled the device, using a robot, and then called in hazmat teams.
The FBI said today that the device posed a credible threat. "Subsequent preliminary analysis revealed the backpack contained a potentially deadly destructive device, likely capable of inflicting multiple casualties," the agency said in a statement.
The device was found stuffed in the backpack and wrapped in several T-shirts. The FBI is offering a $20,000 reward for information about the person who left it there.