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One of the two suspects being sought for the bombing of an Indian restaurant in a Toronto suburb that injured 15 people last week may be a woman, Canadian police said Tuesday.
The revelation came as investigators continued to be stymied in their search for a motive for Thursday’s bombing of the Bombay Bhel restaurant in Mississauga, Ontario.
“I don’t want to say that it is a woman,” Peel Regional Police Superintendent Robert Ryan said. “We are saying it may be a woman.”
Investigators decided that one of the suspects might not be a man — as they first believed — after reviewing video footage of the pair running eastbound after the blast and after interviewing the 30 people who were in the restaurant at the time, Ryan said.
“The suspects went to great length to hide their identities,” he said, noting that both had their faces covered.
Ryan also confirmed that the explosive device they used was homemade.
“Whatever was put in that may be lying around the home,” he said. “We’re hoping science can help identify what it’s made of.”
Asked why police were so quick to dismiss the possibility that this bombing was an act of terrorism, Ryan said they saw nothing online “to suggest this was terrorism or a hate crime.”
“We do not have a clear motive and no one has claimed responsibility,” he said.
Ryan added that the owners of the restaurant are cooperating with investigators, who have finished processing the crime scene and collecting fingerprints and DNA samples.
Two birthday parties were underway at the restaurant and several children under 10 were inside when the bomb went off around 10:30 p.m. ET, police said.
None of the children were injured and all the victims, including the three originally listed as critical, were released Friday.
In the aftermath, police described one of the suspects as a man in his mid-20s, 5 foot 10 to 6 feet tall with a stocky build and light skin, and the other as a man, 5 foot 9 to 5 foot 10, with fair skin and a thin build.
The restaurant bombing happened about a month after a frustrated male motorist who reportedly had a grudge against women plowed a rented van into a lunch-hour crowd in Toronto, killing 10 people and injuring 15.