New Developments in Wal-Mart Bomb Scare: Now 30 Stores Nationwide, 13 States - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

New Developments in Wal-Mart Bomb Scare: Now 30 Stores Nationwide, 13 States

New developments tonight in the series of bomb scares in stores across the nation, including a threat that came to the Chantilly Parkway Wal-mart store.

FBI investigators say they are close to identifying the man behind at least one incident in Providence, Rhode Island.    

Because of the similarities in several other cases, it could be the same person who called the Montgomery store.

Federal investigators say they know of at least 30 other stores, banks and small businesses nationwide that took similar phone calls.

Sheriff D.T. Marshall says one fact stood out; the caller to the Chantilly store had a New York accent.

"I know that some people are thinking the money was wired to Portugal, but I don't know that," Marshall said.

Police also don't know the why or how.

For instance, in in most cases, the caller directed Wal-mart employees to take money to a certain part of the store.

Despite the fact Montgomery County sheriff's investigators found a man standing in the Chantilly store talking on a cell phone, he's no longer a suspect.

"I'm not aware of any accomplices, not aware of anybody being on the ground," said Marshall.

As for motive, Marshall says the scammer got no cash from most victims.

"We had no losses here," he said.

Which leads to the how.

Originally, investigators said the call came from overseas. Now they can't say for sure.

"Satellite phone is a possibility, prepaid cellphone is a possibility," said Marshall.

The caller may have used an internet based phone system, such as Skype or Vonage, which often masks the caller's real location.

That possibility also leads investigators back to the motive. Police speculate the man might have used the internet to hack into store surveillance systems and got some kind of a thrill watching people panic when the bomb scare call came.

A local FBI spokesperson confirms at least seven field offices in the nation are looking into this case, and more are expected to join.

For now, Sheriff Marshall says his investigators have subpoened the phone records from the Chantilly Wal-mart and they're examining every call to see where it leads.

And just in case you're wondering, both Marshall and the FBI say there's no tie to terrorism.

Sheriff Marshall says if his investigation shows the suspect in the other cases also hit montgomery, they will ask to prosecute him along with the other states.

He may also face federal charges.

Reporter: Chris Holmes

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