North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announced a reward of up to $25,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for damaging two power substations in Moore County.
The state’s reward brings the total combined amount being offered to find the culprit(s) to $75,000, with Duke Energy and Moore County offering $25,000 each.
"An attack on our critical infrastructure will not be tolerated," Cooper said. "I appreciate the coordinated efforts of law enforcement to leave no stone unturned in finding the criminals who did this, and I thank Moore County and Duke Energy for matching the state’s reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible."
Two substations operated by Duke Energy were taken out by gunfire on Saturday night at approximately 7 p.m., leaving over 40,000 people without electricity.
Federal, state and local officials have said the attack was intentional, and no motive had been revealed as of Wednesday.
Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields described the incident as something the county had never faced before, saying there was extensive damage found at two substations caused by gunshots.
On Monday, the FBI joined the investigation into the incident, which was already being investigated by county law enforcement and the State Bureau of Investigations, or SBI.
Fields said on Sunday he had no information about there being truth to rumors that the outages were somehow linked to a protest at a drag show. "No, none that I’m aware of. Is it possible? Yes, anything’s possible. But we have not been able to tie anything back to the drag show," Fields told reporters Sunday.
Jeff Brooks, from Duke Energy, originally expected the outages to last until Thursday, but restoration times were bumped up to Wednesday.
"During our investigation of the outage, we did determine that there had been intentional impact on the substation, damaging multiple pieces of equipment in the substation and causing power to go out there," Brooks said. "Unlike, perhaps a storm, where you could go in and reroute power somewhere else, that was not an option in this case, so repair has to be completed. In many cases, some of that equipment will have to be replaced, and our crews are currently working on the repair plan."
As of 8 p.m. on Wednesday, only one person was listed without electricity in Moore County, according to PowerOutage.us.