The investigation into the suspected bombing of a trailer in the Callaghan Valley on Jan. 16 has been handed over to the RCMP's criminal operations office, police confirmed this week. It has has brought in the explosives disposal unit, the integrated forensic identification service and other special teams based in the Lower Mainland to assist in the ongoing investigation.
It is also asking for the public's assistance on the file, and is concerned by the use of explosives.
"We're interested if anybody has any information, they maybe heard something or (saw) something," said Chief Supt. Janice Armstrong, the assistant commander and operations officer for the Lower Mainland Regional Police Service.
The RCMP suspects foul play after the explosion rocked a motorhome in a Callaghan Valley snowmobile staging area just before midnight last month. There were two men were in the trailer at the time of the blast, and both were injured, though not seriously. They are known by police for gang-related activity - one is from Vancouver and the other is from Vancouver Island. They had been snowmobiling in the Whistler area for a week before the incident.
The men initially believed that the camper's own propane tank had exploded, but soon realized that it was likely a targetted attack using explosives. It's been alleged in the media that the two men were connected to the Hell's Angels bike gang, but police have not confirmed that.
"What we can confirm is that the individuals are known to police and we believe this targetted incident was gang-related," said Armstrong. "Certainly it's fair to assume it's related to the ongoing violence we've been experiencing in the Lower Mainland the last little while."
Both men have left the area and returned home.
The RCMP is looking for anyone who might have information related to the case, and is concerned that the person or persons responsible for the blast may have more explosives.
"The use of explosives increases the risk to public safety," said Armstrong. "We can't rule it out (whether there are more explosives) but we're acting under the assumption that there are more out there."
Armstrong said the investigation is using high-level resources across the country, as well as specialty units and local RCMP in Whistler.
"We've made other specialized units aware of the use of explosives, which you don't hear about too much in criminal activity," said Armstrong.
If you have any information, contact Constable Harker at the Whistler RCMP, 604-905-1958. To leave an anonymous tip you can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Any information leading to an arrest and conviction can result in a cash reward.