PEEL Regional Police Superintendent Rob Ryan on Tuesday told the media that one of the suspects in the May 24 Bombay Bhel Restaurant explosion that occurred in the area of Hurontario Street and Eglinton Avenue in the City of Mississauga could be a female.
He said that this conclusion was reached after interviewing witnesses and scanning videos obtained from houses and cars.
He noted that the suspects had gone to great extent to hide their identities.
Ryan said the improvised explosive device set off inside the restaurant appears to be homemade.
(Police later confirmed to the CBC that the device contained nails. That would mean the suspects had aimed to cause maximum injuries.)
Ryan said police do not have a clear motive as yet and nobody had claimed responsibility for the explosion.
He said that if the suspects were caught they would face attempted murder charges besides others.
Ryan said the restaurant owners were cooperative and he didn’t know if there was anyone in the restaurant who was specifically targeted. All those who were in the restaurant at the time of the explosion had been interviewed.
Police had wrapped up their investigation at the restaurant. They did not find any more explosive devices.
Ryan said police were still looking for more witnesses and surveillance video from homes, businesses and vehicles. Peel Regional Police was being aided by police agencies across the Greater Toronto Area.
He warned anyone who was helping the suspects in any way that they would also face criminal charges.
“This is a highly complex process that involved the co-operation of multiple bureaus and specialized units of the Peel Regional Police. We have set-up a full-time Task Force to work on this incident and a dedicated phone line 1-800-966-0616. They will explore every possible avenue and every available lead,” said Ryan.
Processing the scene involved forensic experts, who photographed the restaurant and collected physical evidence including fingerprints and DNA. This information will be analyzed by the Province’s Centre of Forensic Science. Police had the Explosives Disposal Unit analyze the blast site and scour the surrounding areas looking for other potential explosives.
The Public Safety Unit conducted a thorough ground search for evidence using canine support in conjunction with drones to map out the area.
Investigators have since adjusted the description of the suspects as follows:
The first suspect is described as approximately 5’10” to 6 feet tall with a stocky build. The suspect was wearing dark pants, a dark coloured hoodie pulled over head, a baseball cap and the face was covered with dark material.
The second suspect is described as approximately 5’10” to 6 feet tall with a medium build. This suspect was wearing blue jeans, a dark coloured hoodie pulled over head and the face was covered with dark material.
The suspects immediately fled eastbound on foot. Peel Regional Police have released video of the suspects running from the area.
The investigators continue to seek the public’s assistance in identifying these individuals. They urge anyone who may have been in the restaurant or in the area at the time of the incident, or anyone with dashcam or other video that may help the investigation to come forward.
Anyone with information can call the dedicated Tip Line: 1-866-966-0616, available 24/7.
To leave an anonymous tip call Peel Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), or visit www.peelcrimestoppers.ca.