Administration officials were close-mouthed about the San Diego car bombing that triggered speculation about possible terrorism, as President Bush monitored developments through news accounts, a source said Saturday.
While FBI headquarters dispatched a special explosive team to California, Bush headed to the presidential retreat at Camp David, Md., for the weekend. He was briefed on the explosion Friday before he left Washington, said Andrew Card, deputy to the chief of staff."He's monitoring the news accounts. He's concerned about it," said another White House official who spoke on condition of anonymity. "Proper agencies of the government are playing their role. There's not any reason for the White House to become involved," because the case is under investigation by the FBI, the source added.
"We're obviously watching it and concerned about it," the source said.
Officially, the White House was mum on the situation, referring all calls to the FBI.
"We don't have any information on it . . . We won't have any comment until the FBI completes its investigation," said White House press secretary Marlin Fitzwater.
FBI headquarters in the capital sent its explosive team to San Diego Friday night to help investigators looking into the explosion, which destroyed a car driven by the wife of Navy Capt. Will Rogers III, said FBI duty officer Kathy Kennedy.
Sharon Rogers escaped injury. Rogers was the skipper of the USS Vincennes who mistakenly ordered the downing of an Iranian airliner, which led to speculation that Friday's bombing may have been a retribution act.
"When anything like this happens we're not going to rule terrorism out, that perhaps this might be a retribution," said Kennedy. "But we're going to look at all the angles."
"Obviously . . . we investigate terrorism."
The explosion engulfed the van in flames moments after Mrs. Rogers, 50, got out.