But Ottawa police stopped short of saying it was an improvised explosive device and said the public was never in danger from the package found Tuesday afternoon, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.
Discovery of the package at an entrance to the Defense Department building led authorities to shut down the Mackenzie King Bridge, creating rush-hour headaches for commuters in downtown Ottawa. Part of the building was evacuated.
The CBC said a robot was used to remove the package, which was then soaked with a high-powered water cannon before a water bottle charge, which contains a small amount of explosive, was used to render it harmless.
Ottawa police Inspector Michael Maloney said X-ray scans revealed the package contained a dense material that could have been explosives and a possible power source, along with wires that could have connected the other materials.
"From what they ascertained off of the X-ray, they determined that there were components that were consistent with what you would require for an improvised explosive device," Maloney said. "That doesn't mean that there were actual explosives, but there were components that were consistent with what is required to make a bomb."
Defense Minister Peter MacKay said investigators were trying to learn more about the package and who sent it.
"I don't want to get into speculation until we get a full picture on what this package was and what was behind it," he told reporters Wednesday.