Investigators search for bullet casings at the scene where Wednesday's police shootout with suspects took place in San Bernardino, Calif on Dec. 3, 2015.
Jae C. Hong—AP
By Melissa Chan
December 3, 2015

The shooting by a California couple at an office party Wednesday could have been more devastating if the bomb they left behind hadn’t failed, officials said.

Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik failed to detonate a remote-controlled explosive device they left at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino after they opened fire during a holiday party, San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said Thursday.

The two killed 14 people and wounded 21 others before they fled the site of the massacre in an SUV with the bomb’s controller, authorities said.

There were three pipe bombs tied together to make one device and attached to a remote control car, which was meant to trigger a blast, according to Burguan.

The explosive “appeared to not have worked in this case,” the police chief added. The FBI said it’s “looking into” whether the designs came from Al-Qaeda’s “Inspire” magazine.

Farook and Malik’s heavy arsenal found at their home included thousands of bullets and tools to make more pipe bombs, Burguan said Thursday. Authorities found another 12 pipe bombs at the house.

“Clearly they were equipped and they could have done another attack,” Burguan said.

Contact us at editors@time.com.

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