The San Antonio Fire Department on Thursday reported a suspicious package in Alamo Plaza, prompting an investigation. Credit: Jackie Wang / San Antonio Report

A suspicious package located near Alamo Plaza in downtown San Antonio was deemed non-explosive Thursday afternoon.

Though the San Antonio Police Department’s bomb squad examined and cleared the package, law enforcement continued to block off the streets around the Alamo leading up to the Hipolito F. Garcia Federal Building and United States Courthouse Thursday afternoon. Confused motorists drove around police cars, and pedestrians in the area relayed information about the crime scene to each other.

The package in question, found on the sidewalk on the corner of Houston and Alamo Streets, consisted of a clay-type material with copper tubing sticking out of it, placed on top of a box, SAPD Officer Douglas Greene said. A San Antonio Fire Department truck was parked on the 600 block of Houston Street when firefighters noticed it and called it in.

“It definitely stood out and … looked suspicious,” Greene said.

Greene said law enforcement may be asking citizens for help in identifying who placed the package. Using a “hoax” bomb to create alarm is a misdemeanor in Texas. There are a lot of surveillance cameras in the area, Greene said, as well as tourists walking around with their phones out.

“We’re able to utilize our intelligence down here and a lot of other resources we have to help us in this investigation,” he said. “We feel confident in it. We’ll see what our investigators tell us. We may need the public’s help. If they saw anything, we do ask them to call the police.”

SAPD, SAFD, San Antonio Park Police, U.S. Marshals, and FBI all were on the scene. Though the package ended up being non-threatening, Greene said it was good training for first responders to prepare for similar calls.

“As a precautionary effort, you can’t be complacent in these types of situations because we have responded here in the past to suspicious packages,” he said. “We cordoned off the area and had the bomb squad do their thing.”

Greene said law enforcement agents would be shrinking the closed-off perimeter as they process the scene. Law enforcement will be investigating who put the package on the sidewalk and what their intentions were, he added.

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Jackie Wang

Jackie Wang covered local government for the San Antonio Report.