RCMP confirm Tannerite was used in Strathcona County explosions; motive unclear

1st major update on Strathcona County explosions investigation
WATCH: It's been almost a year since a pair of explosions rocked the Strathcona County community parkade. Tuesday, in the first major update since the blasts, RCMP confirm the type of explosive used. Julia Wong reports.

RCMP are confirming that Tannerite was the explosive used in a series of explosions at the Sherwood Park Community Centre in 2018.

The two explosions on Nov. 6 left one man dead and caused $14 million in damage to the community centre.

Lab results released Tuesday show that traces of nitrate salts and aluminum powder were in the blast debris that Strathcona County RCMP sent in for testing.

Due to the fire suppression efforts from emergency crews, the samples were degraded to the point that a direct identification of the substance involved could not be made. However, RCMP say that based on the familiarity that suspect Kane Kosolowsky had with Tannerite and the method of ignition, they were able to conclude that was the substance behind the explosions.

Global News spoke with a source in November who reported that a “significant” amount of Tannerite was found in a car outside the Strathcona County civic office.

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READ MORE: Tannerite reportedly found at Sherwood Park explosion scene. What is it?

The first explosion happened around 6:30 p.m in the Strathcona County Community Centre’s parkade. Police found 21-year-old Kane Kosolowsky seriously injured after that explosion, and he was transported to hospital where he later died.

Watch below: RCMP Supt. Dave Kalist said lab results and further investigation made it clear that Tannerite was the substance used. Kalist said it’s likely Kane Kosolowsky acted alone but the motive still isn’t clear.

RCMP confirm substance in Strathcona County explosions
RCMP confirm substance in Strathcona County explosions

RCMP said Kosolowsky purposely caused the explosion, and then shot himself when he returned back to his vehicle.

A second explosion occurred in the parkade that night at around 8:15 p.m. RCMP confirmed Tuesday that explosion was due to a gas tank overheating following a fire caused by the initial blast.

The Alberta RCMP Behavioural Sciences Group, Threat Assessment Unit, has been engaged to review the evidence and help provide insight to the motivation Kosolowsky may have had. RCMP say at this time, all evidence points to Kosolowsky acting alone, and that he had no links to any terrorist groups.

Strathcona County Mayor Rod Frank said Tuesday that the community was able to come together and respond with great resiliency following the incident.

“We have a new and security-enhanced parkade, and our municipal programs and services continue to be fully operational,” Frank said in a statement. “It’s important to recognize the impact this isolated incident had on… especially patrons, tenants and county staff who live or work near the Community Centre.”

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WATCH BELOW: Strathcona County Mayor Rod Frank says there are still many unanswered questions after the Nov. 2018 blasts in which one man took his own life.

Mayor on motive behind Strathcona County explosions: ‘We may never know’
Mayor on motive behind Strathcona County explosions: ‘We may never know’

A recent Global News investigation found that the response from Strathcona County was a “communications fail” after it delayed giving any updates to the public as the incident unfolded.

Watch below: Strathcona County residents say they’re worried about the county’s emergency preparedness after a pair of explosions last fall. Their concerns come after a Global News investigation into emails exchanged by county officials the night of the explosions. (May 2019).