LAS CRUCES, N.M., Aug. 3 (UPI) -- Two churches about three miles apart were targeted by explosive devices in the small town of Las Cruces, N.M.
No injuries occurred and damage to the Calvary Baptist Church and Holy Cross Catholic Church was "relatively minor." The two explosions on Sunday could be linked.
"It's unlikely for us to have two incidents like this on the same day 20 minutes apart and have them not be connected," Las Cruces Police Department spokesman Dan Trujillo told The Washington Post, adding that the incidents are being investigated separately.
The first explosion detonated inside a mailbox at the Calvary Baptist Church at about 8:20 a.m. just as members were gathering for morning services. About 20 minutes later, a trash can exploded outside Holy Cross Catholic Church, shattering the building's glass during the middle of the morning mass.
"Only a coward would place an explosive device in a place of peace and a place of worship," New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez told reporters. "If your intention was to bring fear to those who worship, you have failed. Our faith is too strong, and our fellowship is unbreakable."
"We will not let fear take a hold of us," she added, encouraging people to continue attending religious services. "This attack does not stop our lives."
Las Cruces is a town of about 100,000 people, about 50 miles from the Mexico border. Multiple law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and Department of Homeland Security, are investigating the explosions.