Improvised explosive device detonated near JC Penney at Lake Wales mall

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Police in Central Florida say two improvised explosive devices ignited inside a mall Sunday evening.

Firefighters quickly determined an IED had been detonated in a corridor located next to the mall entrance of JC Penney, officials said. At 5:30pm the Lake Wales Police Department responded to begin a criminal investigation.

- Third suspicious package found near theater. Eagle Ridge is about 30 miles east of Tampa.

The bomb squad found two "crudely made" devices in the hallway, including one in a backpack, Schulze said.

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The area where the devices exploded is away from customers and generally only used by employees.

Witnesses had also reported a suspicious package outside the mall's movie theater Sunday, but WTSP later reported that this turned out to be an old box of no effect.

Schulze would not speculate on a motive or who might've planted the devices.

The FBI says there is no indication of any connection to terrorism.

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"This is a family-oriented mall".

Schulze added that, "People here shopping, just enjoying a Sunday afternoon or evening with their families, and literally "boom".

The explosions did not cause extensive damage but the mall was evacuated. "Something that will impact our whole community".

Based on information provided by witnesses, authorities are seeking a person of interest described as a middle-aged white male with a heavy/stocky build, wearing a gray shirt and gray hat.

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