Explosive device detonated at Lake Wales mall

Florida shoppers fled the shopping centre on Sunday

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An improvised explosive device caused a fire at a central Florida mall Sunday evening and forced the building to be evacuated.

When fire officials arrived at around 5:22 p.m., smoke was spotted near the entrance of JCPenney - an explosion had occurred, the station reported.

An improvised explosive device blew up at the Eagle Ridge Mall in Lake Wales, Florida, on Sunday.

Investigators say no one was injured, but damage did occur to the ceiling and corridor wall.

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Police officials say they are not calling the incident an act of terrorism, but the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been notified.

Police in Lake Wales say the pipe bombs went off in a service corridor near the entrance of the Eagle Ridge Mall's JC Penney store, WFTV reports.

Lake Wales Police Department Deputy Chief Troy Schulze said the authorities found "backpack or book bag that contained five or six other IEDs that were not detonated".

Witnesses told detectives they saw a middle-aged white male with a stocky build running away from the scene. Police said that the suspect was wearing a grey shirt and a grey hat at the time of the incident.

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