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Authorities calling Allentown car explosion that killed three a murder-suicide

ALLENTOWN, LEHIGH COUNTY, Pa. - - The investigation of a car explosion that killed a father, son and friend in Allentown on Saturday is coming to an end.

“It’s a miracle that no other bystanders were seriously wounded or killed," said John Gallagher, chief for Allentown's U.S. Attorney’s Office. “What happened here in Allentown on Saturday night was nothing short of a nightmare," he added.

Details from a Thursday press conference, with the ATF, U.S Attorney’s office and Allentown police revealed that 26-year-old Jacob Schmoyer was behind Saturday’s explosion that took his life, along with his two-year-old son, Jonathan and his 66-year-old friend, David Hallman.

"All three subjects were inside the vehicle, Schmoyer in the drivers seat, Mr. Hallman in the passenger side of the vehicle and the baby was in a carseat in the back on the drivers side," said Don Robinson, ATF special agent.

Through preliminary lab testing, authorities say it was determined that explosives were placed somewhere near the center console of the vehicle.

“These were not commercial products, commercial explosives, these were homemade explosives, a couple different type," added Robinson.

Officials say they also discovered Schmoyer sent four letters through the mail the day of the explosion, one of which was sent to the Allentown Police Department and three others that were sent to family members. Each one detailing the construction of the explosive device and his plans.

Police say they received the first letter through the mail on Tuesday, and another on Wednesday. Two more were received Wednesday by family.

"He was very unhappy with his life, described himself in some negative terms, admitted to a number of other criminal acts, a number of other petty thefts to burglaries to other criminal acts that he had committed along the way and indicated a desire not to stick around and unfortunately in these letters, his intent to take Mr. Hallman and his son with him," said Robinson.

“It’s sad sad day for all families, there’s really no way to describe what runs through somebody’s mind when they’re doing this but we are confident that we have determined who is involved and who is responsible and that is Jacob Schmoyer," he added.

Police say they are awaiting final lab work to come in for the explosives and letters, which they are hoping to have in the next few days.

They are asking anyone that finds an item that they believe to be related to the incident, not to touch it and report it to police right away.