One suspect in Mississauga, Ont., restaurant explosion may be female, police say

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — One of two suspects wanted in connection with an explosion that injured 15 people at a restaurant west of Toronto may be a woman, contrary to earlier reports, police said Tuesday.

Investigators originally said both suspects wanted in Thursday night’s blast at the Bombay Bhel restaurant in Mississauga, Ont., were men, but new video evidence and witness input suggests at least one of the suspects could be female, said Peel regional police Supt. Rob Ryan.

Police have finished their work at the scene of the blast and are now analysing a collection of evidence that includes fingerprints, DNA, surveillance video, interviews with people present at the restaurant that night and remnants of the explosive device itself, Ryan said.

“Investigators spent hundreds of hours over the weekend combing the scene for every fine detail that might help them to understand what happened that night,” he said.

“What led the two suspects to detonate this device is still not clear,” he added. “We do not have clear motive and no one has claimed responsibility.”

Peel police have spoken to the RCMP and law enforcement and intelligence agencies across Ontario and currently have no evidence to suggest the bombing was an act of terror or a hate crime, Ryan said, nor is there any indication another attack may be imminent.

“We don’t have any messaging from before the incident or during the incident from these (suspects), no conversation that we are aware of,” he said

Ryan thanked members of the public for their patience, and pledged to keep them updated as the case evolves.

“While we understand this investigation is drawing extensive public interest from around the world, we want you to understand this is a complex case and it’s going to take time to solve,” he said, adding that Peel police have established a full-time task force to investigate the blast.

The suspects — who, if caught, will be charged with attempted murder and several other offences related to the explosion — were in and out of the restaurant in a short amount of time around 10:30 p.m. Thursday, and fled the scene on foot before their homemade explosive device detonated, police said.

Investigators have traced the suspects’ escape route with drones and dogs, and believe the pair headed east from Bombay Bhel, cutting through a construction site and then a residential subdivision, Ryan said.

Police have said they think the suspects ultimately got into a vehicle.

Ryan said assistance from the community would be “critical” to the investigation, and urged anyone with information to contact police, whether they were in the area of the restaurant on the night of the bombing, or know something about the suspects.

“We know there are people out there who know who did this and it’s time for them to do the right thing and come forward,” Ryan said.

The 15 people injured in the blast, ranging in age from 23 to 69, were all treated and released from hospital within 24 hours, police said.

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