The sheriff's bomb squad defused an explosive device found in a paper bag outside a vacant building Wednesday.
Charring on the device indicated that there had been an attempt to detonate it, Police Sgt. Bud Lathrop said.
"What does this mean? We don't know, and it may be premature to even speculate," Lathrop said Wednesday. "But we are investigating the incident."
About 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, construction workers remodeling a former beer bar in the 1500 block of West Commonwealth Avenue discovered a suspicious looking object in a paper sack in a planter outside the building, Lathrop said. The workers gingerly placed it in a trash bin.
When a trash collector came by to empty the Dumpster, Lathrop said, he, too, spotted the device with wires, an electronic fuse and battery attached to a cylindrical vial filled with a clear liquid. He dialed 911 and reported a possible bomb.
About 30 people were evacuated for about an hour while bomb squad officers deactivated the device. It then was taken to the Sheriff's Department crime lab for closer inspection.
The building is being remodeled to accommodate a computerized mailing firm, Lathrop said.