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Authorities Arrest Package Bombing Suspect; Authorities Remover Suspect's Vehicle; Trump Briefed on Arrest; Package Bomber Identified. Aired 12-12:30p ET
Aired October 26, 2018 - 12:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[12:00:00] KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: As we follow the progress of that van and the developments in this case. Look -- keeping our eyes on the White House as well as President Trump is expected to speak any moment.
Thank you so much for joining me. I'm going to hand it off to my colleague John King with INSIDE POLITICS. We will continue our coverage.
JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: Kate Bolduan, thank you.
And welcome to INSIDE POLITICS. I'm John King in Washington.
As Kate noted, we're going to continue to following the dramatic breaking news this hour. The Justice Department now confirms federal authorities have arrested a man in south Florida in connection to the suspected explosive packages sent across the country this week. CNN first to report that arrest a bit earlier today. Now a dozen packages in total sent to a variety of Democratic political operatives, critics of the president and to CNN. We expect to learn more. Just moments from now we'll hear from the president of the United States at the White House. Then, the Department of Justice holding a news conference, led by the attorney general, at 2:30 here Eastern Time. President Trump, as I said, will speak in just moments.
CNN's Randi Kaye is in Plantation, Florida. Shimon Prokupecz is in New York tracking this investigation.
Shimon, I want to start with you. Do we have Shimon? We don't have Shimon at the moment.
Randi, you're on the scene -- there's Shimon. Thank you. Sorry about that.
Shimon, give us the latest on what we know in terms of the arrest, the investigation, and why, what led authorities to this man?
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Right.
So the arrest unfolding just before 11:00, just as we were getting ready to go on air around 11:00, probably more like 10:30 or so. The FBI authorities in Miami, the Joint Terrorism Task Force, all of them working this really the last 24 hours, tracking this individual. They tracked him to this area in Plantation, this auto -- outside an Auto Zone, this auto repair shop perhaps -- and where they took him into custody.
We don't know if he was taken into custody without incident. We really don't have any detail surrounding the arrest.
What we do know is that there has been significant progress that had been made by the authorities in this case. They had been working through the night, all day yesterday. We had some indication that an arrest was likely soon. Certainly this morning, both CNN's Evan Perez and I were hearing that something was going to happen. And police and the FBI were just sitting on this individual, waiting for perhaps a good time -- a good and safe time to take him into custody. And that's just how it went down.
There will be a press conference at 2:30 at the Department of Justice with the attorney general in Washington, D.C. I suspect there's going to be FBI agents there. I'm also told NYPD personnel are going to be on their way down to join that press conference. And hopefully we'll learn more exactly how this person went about in shipping these, in constructing these and what the motives were. That's the big question here also.
And as you see there in the video, and as we've been reporting, it's not entirely clear why the police and why the FBI in this case have chosen to cover up that van. The suspect's -- what we believe is the suspect's van. There's writings. There's all sorts of stickers and decals on that - on that van. And that could be why, because they don't want the public to see what's on that van.
That could also help authorities get a sense of this person's frame of mind, maybe even motive, as to what was behind these series of mailings of what appears to be explosive devices.
KING: Shimon, stay with us and continue reporting.
I want to go to Randi Kay.
Shimon mentioned the van, Randi. The van was taken from the scene, now on a tow truck being taken to an FBI processing facility. But from where you are on the scene, describe to us what you saw as this dramatic arrest unfolded.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we were here. I mean a dramatic development when we were here, John, as it was unfolding here in Plantation, Florida. In fact this -- this State Road 7 here behind me had been closed. It was very difficult to get closer to the scene. Now you can see it's wide open. But when I was on the air last hour, the van that we've been talking about all morning that now has the blue tarp over it, is was -- it was picked up and hauled away just from -- over in that area, just across the State Road 7 from me, and it came right here behind us as the state road was still closed on to that processing facility wherever they are going to take it, to take a closer look at it.
But when we arrived, there was heavy law enforcement. All of them armed. Certainly a big media presence. A lot of the roads were close, including this state road. There were police helicopters in the air as well.
And I should tell you that we're about 27 miles in this location away from Aventura, Florida, where the suspect was reportedly living, according to Evan Perez who was reporting that. And also we're not far from Opa Locka, that -- where that mail facility is, where they do believe that some of these pipe bombs had been mailed from. So as they take this vehicle away with the blue tarp over it, you mentioned the stickers. But there's also the question of what's inside. And I think that's what a lot of the folks in this area are wondering, certainly law enforcement, are there possibly more envelopes inside? Could there be addresses? What kind of evidence is inside? Are there mailing labels? What kind of fibers possibly from the suspect's home could be inside? So we could see the care that they were taking with this vehicle, covered in that blue tarp as they made -- as they made their way from that area where they took it in -- the gentleman and the vehicle into custody and took it to its next step, to that facility, to be processed, John.
[12:05:18] KING: Fantastic reporting on the scene from CNN's Randi Kay and her team.
Randi, appreciate that. Come back to us if you get new information.
Shimon Prokupecz is still with us. And also with me here in studio, the former FBI assistant director Tom Fuentes.
I want to make clear, we're waiting for the president of the United States to speak, so I could interrupt at any moment.
Tom, to this point about the van. You're watching it. But there are clearly some political stickers on it. We'll get more into that in the hour ahead as we get more information.
There has been some questions of why would they cover it like this to take it to a processing facility. We were talking a bit before we went on air about procedures and what those agents are the scene are most worried about. Walk us through it.
TOM FUENTES, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: OK. That's normal procedure. Cover the van, protect it, be able to testify later that it was maintained in a pristine manner when it was taken to the facility. You would worry that somebody on the side of the road might throw a rock and if it went through a window it could contaminate the whole inside crime scene. So they want to keep that van protected for now until they get it to probably an FBI garage where it would be secure from the weather, from outside eyes, from anybody else. And they could take their time and meticulously look inside that.
They'll be looking inside that van for any -- even the carpeting fibers in the van. Anything in that van that might match one of the devices to show that it was in the van before -- when he went to mail it.
KING: So what's on the outside of the van could come to the question of political motivation. But, as an investigator, to you, what's most important in terms of proving your case is what's inside the van.
FUENTES: It's a crime scene. Absolutely.
KING: Crime scene proof (ph).
And, Shimon, take us through what we know about how police were led to this dramatic arrest this morning.
PROKUPECZ: All right, so we don't know much, John. You know, in all honestly, we still don't have all the details, obviously, because this is just maybe about two hours old or so.
But what we do know is that the FBI clearly has been doing surveillance of this -- of this individual, of this man, for some time. It could be for 24 hours. It could be longer.
There are some indications that came into us as early yesterday evening that the police, that the FBI had made some progress in this investigation, that they were getting pretty close to making an arrest. Sort of the officials we've been talking to would not confirm anything. But it was -- just appeared to us that something was going on and they had potentially identified someone that they were very interested in.
And then there was surveillance. We're also told that there's forensic evidence that could link him to the packages, to the things he sent. Remember, they recovered so many of these and they're intact. You know, there's black tape on a lot of this, there's wires, there's metal casing. You know, if he was sloppy, he didn't use gloves, or some hair fell on it, there could be DNA evidence.
And the other thing is cell phone. There seems, we're told, that his cell phone -- that the authorities were tracking his cell phone and they were able to track his movement. And then they just went in and really made the arrest.
You know, Josh Campbell, our -- one of our analysts here I should say, made the point that one of the reasons why they didn't arrest him at his home was because they feared perhaps maybe there could have been explosives at the home. And so they chose to do it outside of his home and they just followed him and felt that it was safe enough to go to this area. It looks like an open-wide area where they made the arrest and then they took him into custody.
KING: Shimon stay with us as well.
I just want to know, we're waiting to hear from the president of the United States. He is at the White House in an unrelated event on black leadership -- a previously scheduled White House event -- but we're told the president will address this arrest at the top of his remarks. We'll take you there live as soon as it happens. He was briefed a bit earlier by his chief of staff, John Kelly. The attorney general was also at the White House. He'll have a briefing later today at the Justice Department.
Tom, in the sense now, we're watching this van being taken to the processing facility. We know there's one suspect in custody. Obviously, question number one would -- did you act alone? Are there accomplices out there?
Normally, for people who follow police work or who watch a lot of police shows on television, Miranda rights come into play. You were making the point before we went on the air that not immediately in this case, because of the gravity of the situation.
FUENTES: Right. The Supreme Court has made an exception for public safety, and that is that when the suspect is taken into custody, they immediately need to find out if he'll tell them, are there other subjects involved in this who are still at large, still posing a threat, or other packages that he might be aware of that haven't been delivered, but they're in the system now to be delivered at some point.
KING: And because of that, they get a grace period. It doesn't have to be (ph), you have the right to remain silent. You have the right to self --
FUENTES: Right. That period has not been specifically defined other than the graver the situation, the bigger the threat, the more latitude for law enforcement. So, at some point, if he makes it clear he's not going to cooperate, not going to talk, or anything else, at that point they can give him Miranda and, you know, call the attorneys and that type of thing. But in the short run right now, we have a tremendous public safety issue first.
KING: Public safety issue first.
I want to bring into the conversation -- and, Candice, forgive me if I have to break off for the president.
But, Candice DeLong is also with us, a former FBI profiler, helped apprehend the Unabomber.
So take us inside that room. I don't want to equate these two instances. Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, that played out over years. This played out over a period of several days. But take us in the room when you're sitting across from somebody who you believe has been responsible for these terror attacks, domestic terror attacks, and the initial conversations.
[12:10:18] CANDICE DELONG, FORMER FBI PROFILER: Well, after we lured him out of his cabin, he was -- he put up a bit of a fight. He was brought down to another cabin that had been prepared to hopefully interrogate him. And he was handcuffed behind his back when he sat down at this pine table, a very rustic scene.
My supervisor said to him, Ted, we are concerned about anyone being hurt, as Mr. Fuentes said, a public safety issue. We'd like to know, are there any booby traps in your cabin, anything that could hurt anyone? And he said -- he thought, he cocked his head, he looked and he said, well, they say -- they say if something is pretty serious that you shouldn't say anything, so I'm not saying anything. I want a lawyer. KING: Immediately.
DELONG: And that was the end of any conversation about the bombings.
KING: The end of any conversation about the bombings.
Was there -- just insight -- to get into the mindset, shock that the authorities had found him?
DELONG: Yes. Yes. He had -- Ted Kaczynski had everything associated, all the evidence of 15 years of making and sending bombing devices, three people killed, it was all right there in his little cabin.
KING: OK, Candice, stay with us as well.
I just want to note, our reporting tell us --
DELONG: And he was shocked.
KING: He was shocked. OK, thank you. Stay with us for a minute.
The truck is headed to Miramar, Florida. That's an FBI facility. Again, this is what's being investigated. Just to remind you, anyone who hasn't been following this story closely over the last few days, we have a dozen suspicious packages now. Two more found just this morning. One addressed to the Democratic Senator Cory Booker, another one addressed to the former director of national intelligence, James Clapper, who is a contributor here at CNN, it was addressed to him at CNN, which, of course, was evacuated the other day in New York when a package addressed to John Brennan, the former CIA director, came to CNN. He actually is a contributor at another network.
But as we're watching this truck go in right now, Tom Fuentes, just take us through this sense of relief, obviously, in the FBI and the other agencies involved that they believe they have their suspect. They want to look at this truck and go through the evidence, if you will.
But what now? I mean there's a sense of relief, but then you're moving to a very urgent task right away.
FUENTES: Well, now it's still the same question of who else might be involve in it and are there still packages at large? And that's a key part of this still and matching more evidence to be able to link every possible device. Another reason for not affecting the rest at his residence was, then you would have 15 agents trampling the inside of a house, which is a crime scene, might be booby trapped. This way they get him away from the house. That house is a crime scene. It's pristine. And they can take their time, again, looking for hair, fiber, DNA in the home that will match the packages that are in custody right now. So that's -- that's a good reason.
But they'll continue with that and continue with the examinations of whether he was on social media, whether he posted threats before the event happened, whether he's posted any kind of taking credit for the bombs that went out in-between. So all of that will be up for discussion with him at this point.
KING: And at what point is the question, obviously, all of the targets here were critics of the president. Democratic politicians, people who have criticized the president. At what point do you get to that? I assume, first and foremost, you're worried about, are there more? Where are the materials you used to build these? Are you associated with anyone else? Is there anybody helping you?
KING: When do you get to the question of why?
FUENTES: When you're answered those first questions you just mentioned.
FUENTES: When you're pretty clear that there probably are no more devices in the mail system, that he may be the only lone actor in this thing, or others have been identified and they get picked up shortly. When you get to that, then you can start talking about political motive. Was he on the extreme right trying to take, you know, attacks against the left? Was he on the extreme left wanting to create martyrs out of the people and then not actually hurt them but just create this, you know, (INAUDIBLE). So we just don't know. And that's not the most critical factor right at this moment.
KING: Not -- obviously, that's a great, public safety is factor number one.
I want to just check in at the White House where our Kaitlan Collins is standing by.
The president of the United States, again, we are told, will speak any moment from now. He's a bit behind schedule.
The president has not praised the FBI for its investigation over the last several days, Kaitlan. He has attacked the news media, blaming the media for the angry mood in the country. But he has been briefed on this now. What are -- any indication of what we will hear from the president just moments from now?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, the question, John, of course, is are we going to hear more from the president on who this suspect is, how they arrested this person, what went down this morning.
But, John, the president is going to make these remarks at the Young Black Leadership Summit that he's hosting here at the White House any minute now, but we do know that he's been briefed on the arrest by the chief of staff, John Kelly, and also the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, who has been spearheading this entire investigation, is also here at the White House right now. So he is likely also speaking with the president about this.
[12:15:08] But, John, you have to look at the last tweet that the president sent before he did tell us he was going to give us an update, and that was when he kind of was raising some questions about what exactly has gone on here. He said that Republicans were doing so well in early voting and in the polls and then this, quote, bomb stuff happened and now the momentum has greatly slowed.
He was lamenting the idea that the focus on cable news and across newspapers was not on politics, but instead on this unfolding terror incident that has really shocked the nation in the last few days as more and more packages have been uncovered.
Now, we asked the White House, what was the president saying here? Is he trying to insinuate this is some kind of false flag operation, as has been circulated in these conspiracy theories that we've seen online? They did not get back to us on what the president was saying because, John, of course, the president has been getting regular intelligence briefings and stayed updated on what has been unfolding in the investigation.
So the question, of course, now is, has the president -- had the president been briefed on this impending arrest when he sent that tweet just roughly two hours ago, did he know that they were about to arrest someone in Florida in connection with these package bombs.
But we will hear from President Trump essentially any minute now. He is going to address this. Whether or not he's going to raise any questions about this or he's simply going to let us know that they have arrested someone, that they're working on this and we'll learn more during that Justice Department briefing this afternoon, we're still waiting to hear from him, John.
KING: Kaitlan Collins at the White House. Thank you, Kaitlan.
Again, we'll go to the president as soon as he makes remarks at the event. He has a previously scheduled event at the White House.
I believe Shimon Prokupecz is still with us.
Let's go back through, again, what we know about the suspect who is in custody. A man in his 1950s (ph). We're told he has a criminal history, some ties to New York, lives in Aventura, Florida, where is about a 20 minute drive from Opa Locka, where there -- we believe this central postal facility at the heart of this is at play. What else?
PROKUPECZ: Yes, I mean, that's -- John, honestly, that's about all we know. We -- you know, we are obviously digging into his history, his life, trying to figure out, you know, more information about him. He does have a criminal history, so, you know, that was certainly an advantage for law enforcement, for the FBI here, because they would have been able to pull some of those records once they identified who he was.
And really essentially, you know, it's just a matter for them. They know a lot about him already. They know his social media presence. They've been through -- they've gone through all that. They've gone through his history, his criminal history, where he works, what he does. So law enforcement certainly know quite a bit about his political leanings which are probably going to be important in this investigation.
What he has said about very political candidates. They have all that. That information lives with the FBI. They have it. We'll see how much they will talk about at the press conference at 2:30.
But that's going to be key. And it's clear that that's key in this investigation as for motive.
And really that's it. You know, I would suspect that there's no concern about explosives in that van because they would have -- they would never be moving it, right? We would have seen bomb -- bomb squads activity, robots checking.
And, you know, and I do think it's interesting that they chose to cover -- cover that van because it's really -- everything that they need for evidence is inside of that van. So it will be interesting to see if they explain why they did that. And maybe not. And that's basically it.
It doesn't appear that anyone else was involved in this -- or at this point, form everything we're being old, it's only one person that's been arrested. We don't know if he lives with family. There are ties to New York. I'm told perhaps Brooklyn. He may have lived in Brooklyn at one point. We don't know how long he's lived out in Florida.
But the FBI certainly knows a lot about him. They've been tracking him for probably at least 24 hours now, watching him as he moved around, seeing who he was calling, seeing who he was talking to, what purchases he's made. They have all that information at this point, John. And, you know, it's going to probably paint a better picture for us once they speak and once they release some of this evidence in court filings and in court proceedings.
KING: Shimon Prokupecz with more great reporting. Stay with us.
Jeff Zeleny, our White House correspondent, reporting the president, in his remarks, it will come any moment now, will describe these attempted package bomb attacks as, quote, terrorizing acts. Terrorizing acts. That would be language the president has not used in recent days. He has not described this as political terrorism. He seemed to be skeptical about the bombs in that tweet. Kaitlan Collins mentioned just earlier today saying -- suggesting somehow it was designed to affect the conversations about the upcoming midterm elections. We'll hear from the president any moment there.
I think we want to take a quick break here. We'll have more on the investigation when we come back. We're waiting on the president -- no break? My apologies. I thought we were going to go to break there.
I just want to -- let's go put this back into context again. We can put up on the screen and show you how these attacks played out.
George Soros, the major Democratic donor, he received a package. That was early in the week on Monday. Then, Tuesday, a package addressed to the Clintons, Hillary Clinton specifically. They live outside of New York. The others on the list, the former Vice President Joe Biden, John Brennan, the former CIA director, James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence, Robert De Niro, the actor and director who lives in New York, has been a prominent critic of the president of the United States. Today, found in Florida, in a postal sorting facility, a package directed at Democratic Senator Cory Booker, a prominent Trump critic, obviously someone who had a big role in the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings.
[12:20:24] Maxine Waters, a Democratic congresswoman, the president has repeatedly criticized. She is a frequent critic of him. Another one of the targets here, Eric Holder, the former attorney general. The return address listed as Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Democratic congresswoman, former chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee in Florida. And a 13th package now under suspicion at a Sacramento facility in California addressed to Senator Kamala Harris.
Obviously, it's not hidden here, the motivation. All of the targets, Democrats and/or critics of the president. When you're leading an investigation like this, how much do the words of the president, or the tweets of the president, especially if they're diverting from the facts, impact your work?
FUENTES: They won't impact the work, to be honest. It doesn't matter what the public is saying or what the media is respecting or anything at this point with regard to possible political motivation. They are just working the facts, working the forensics, taking every step of the way meticulously and then determine -- knowing the victims or the targets of the mailings doesn't tell you specifically the motivation. We can assume it. We can say, well, obviously it's a pro-right wing somebody that's attacking members of the left or progressives or Democrats, but we don't know that for sure. There still -- that's still yet to be seen. And the investigators will be trying hard not to form those kind of theories or opinions to early, which might lead them to ignore facts which show otherwise. So right now it's all about just the facts and just the evidence.
KING: Amen. And it should be.
Let me ask you a question about the age we live in, in which facts often don't matter. You have conspiracy theories --
FUENTES: Well, they matter to the FBI. They don't -- they might not matter to everybody else, but they matter to the investigators.
KING: They matter to the FBI. They matter to the -- amen for that. And we watch and let's applaud the work of the investigators who moved pretty quickly to get this suspect into custody.
One of the conversations we've been having throughout the hour is this van. We were just showing the video of them putting the blue tarp over the top -- top of the van. There are clearly Republican stickers on the van. You can see the elephant, the GOP logo. That means there are Republican stickers on the van.
KING: Yes, OK, exactly. There will be theories now about why it was covered up. Were people trying to hide that? You believe it's done to preserve a crime scene. This is not (INAUDIBLE) --
FUENTES: No, this is routinely done.
FUENTES: When a vehicle is taken into custody for examination at another facility, you know, it typically rains in Florida every afternoon. They don't want to be out in the rain trying to do this. They will get it to a garage. They will get it indoors in a secure facility and they want it to arrive as pristine as possible, not have somebody throw rocks through the window, which would contaminate the interior. That's why they're covered. They're always covered. It's not just this case. It's not because it might have pro-Republican window stickers or any of that.
KING: Put Tom Fuentes in this room on the left. We're watching, obviously, FBI agents. You see them with their jackets on there. They're questioning somebody, a clerk, at this Auto Zone, which is an auto parts store. Who's working the computer laptop there, we don't know whether this person worked at the store or did business in the store, we don't know the answers to that. But the van was outside of this store. So, routine investigative work aimed at what?
FUENTES: Right. Well, what they want to know is if that person saw the van being park, did more than one person get out of it? Is there somebody else that maybe was with the suspect that walked away from the whole scene and wasn't taken into custody? That -- those kind of questions. That would be typical to do interviews. Everybody that possibly saw that van at that vicinity to make sure that this guys was alone when he parked it. They would have had him under surveillance already before he got there. And, again, they don't want to make that arrest in the house because that's a crime scene.
And if there were purchases made, what?
FUENTES: Well, that too. Right. What did he do inside if they waited until he came back out.
KING: All right. All right. OK.
And so you mentioned that politics don't matter. You're trying to find the person. So when you see -- when you see -- and we have a map of where this played out. Most of the packages are delivered in New York. Not all of them. One in Delaware. One now they're looking at in Sacramento.
Just piece together how you go through this in the early days of an investigation when you're watching this unfold. The first one's George Soros. That's -- whether that's George Soros or John Doe, a suspected bomb was mailed to somebody. So that's a big deal. Whether it's a prominent citizen or a normal human being. And then it kicks in that you have more of them. What happens?
FUENTES: Well, let me say -- when I say the politics doesn't matter to the investigators, it doesn't matter in the sense that, oh, we don't care who was a victim. It matters in that, you're looking for commonality in any criminal case. Who are the victims? What do they have in common? That's a lead. It's not the definitive, that's the motive, because they were Democrats or because they were progressives or from that side. So, you know, it's something to take into consideration. It's not the main topic at this point.
What they'll do is have the evidence and the forensics lead them on. In this case, we would have had surveillance video at these postal facilities. We would have had the forensic evidence from inside the packages themselves as they're being examined.
[12:25:14] And, again, if -- if he's known to the police, as they say how well-known? Was his DNA or fingerprints already on file? And maybe they've gotten a match from one of the packages to him specifically and that led to this? Did somebody tip the police or the FBI off? Hey, my buddy or my classmate or my neighbor has been talking about doing an attack on Democrats or whoever or just wants his attention and 15 minutes of fame. He doesn't actually want to kill anybody, but he wants to get attention, which he's going to have plenty of.
So those kind -- we don't know how they got on to him at this point. Was it a tip? Was it the forensics? Was it surveillance cameras, social media, friends, relatives, we don't know. We will know, you know, at some point here.
KING: And, Candice, if you're still with me, as you move from Monday, where you have a package addressed to George Soros, to Wednesday, when you have several more Democratic politicians and critics of the president, if you're trying -- and you're in conversations of who are we looking for, what type of person are we looking for, as you get that additional information and you go from one to two, three, four, five, six known Democrats, known critics of the president, how does that affect, from a profiling standpoint, OK, let's narrow down, we think we're looking for what?
DELONG: Well, it starts out, first of all, what is the actual crime? The crime is, he's making bombs and using them to -- we're not sure what, possibly scare. None of them went off. Generally speaking, people that commit these kinds of crimes are white males that are older, over 40. And with each successive event, the event being the device being sent or discovered, it tells us more and more.
One of the things that occurred to me about this is that this person was really hyperactive about the number of devices he was sending. Kaczynski, Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, sent 13 devices over 15 years. The person in custody, if it is him, has sent 12 to 13 --
KING: Candice, I'm sorry, I need to interrupt you. We have new information on the suspect. I need to go to Evan Perez immediately with the breaking news.
EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: John, we can now identify the suspect. His name is Cesar Sayoc. He is 56 years old. And as we mentioned previously, he has an address in Hollywood, Florida.
Looking through the criminal history, there are some criminal records on this suspect. He was taken into custody earlier today in Plantation, Florida. It appears that that was a business where he was -- that's the choice that the FBI made was to -- was to arrest him at that place of business, which is an Auto Zone store. But he lives a few miles away over in Hollywood, Florida. At least that's the most recent address that we found for him.
Again, his name is Cesar Sayoc. He is 56 years old and has quite a criminal history there in the state of Florida. He has some ties to New York. It's something that law enforcement has been working on for the last, you know, 48 hours. Certainly in the last 24 hours they had a very good idea that they had identified this guy.
I think we've talked before that, you know, he made some mistakes in the way he constructed these bombs. However what -- however he made these bombs, there were some mistakes, that they were able to identify some DNA, apparently, on at least some of the packages in order to be able to identify this. And this helped them make a huge breakthrough in this investigation.
In addition, obviously, to isolating that this had come through that facility in Opa Locka, Florida. All in the same radios there just north of Miami.
Again, the name of the suspect is Cesar Sayoc, 56 years old, from an address in Aventura, Florida, is where we have him most recently living, John.
KING: Evan, stay with us as well and continue your reporting.
I want to show you an image of the van that's now under the blue tarp. You see it right there. If you look in clearly, these are Republican- leaning -- the president, the vice president, the GOP logo and to the bottom left of that window on the left there CNN sucks, a sticker we see at Trump rallies around the country.
I want to point out, this is the van that's been taken into custody. The van -- Mr. Cesar Sayoc, as Evan Perez just outlined. We show you these pictures here. To get -- this gets to the motivation of Mr. Sayoc, obviously. How does that, Tom Perez, when you see the president, the vice president, the Republican logo, the American flag, the presidential seal and CNN sucks, knowing what is alleged here, mailing (ph) at least a dozen packages --
FUENTES: Right. (INAUDIBLE) certainly that will be addressed in the interview process. First of all, they'll go through the bombs and -- that were mail and whether they were going to explode or not or how he made them. But they'll go into those kinds of things. I mean that essentially is the equivalent of a social media posting, publically done, without the Internet, just sticking a window sticker on your window.
[12:30:08] So they'll go into all of his possible leanings and whether that led to the motivation to want to do this. And his targets will