By RYAN GORMAN
Police searching the Pennsylvania woods for a suspected cop killer found explosives and have also sighted him from about a football field away.
Two pipe bombs were uncovered Tuesday morning by officers combing the dense Pocono Mountains forest for survivalist Eric Frein, Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Col. George Bivens said during a Tuesday afternoon press conference.
Cops also sighted Frein, wearing dark clothing, from a distance of about 75-100 yards away but were unable to apprehend him because of how dense the woods are, Bivens added.
The pipe bombs found came in addition to an AK-47 and ammunition recovered last week. Authorities believe that by slowly recovering Frein's arsenal they are weakening his ability to survive much longer, according to Bivens.
The devices were not armed and officers were not considered to be in immediate danger, said Bivens, but they were able to be armed and used if Frein had been present.
"Experts from within our agency have looked at them and assure me they are a functional device," he added.
It is also believed that there are multiple instances where officers had surrounded the man suspected of murdering Pennsylvania State Trooper Bryon Dickson and wounding Trooper Alex Douglass, but that he was able to get away.
"We have had situations where we had fairly tight perimeters and we had hoped to have contained him... he's managed to escape," Bivens lamented.
"Because of the type of terrain and the distance of roads in the area, it is not easy to set up a secure perimeter," he added. "It allows him in some cases, even though he's been seen, to get away."
Bivens shot down the notion that the discovery of explosives being found was good enough reason to bring in the National Guard to assist with the search effort.
"We have the resources to deal with this," he insisted. "We have always known this was a possibility."
The 18-day search for Frein, now the FBI's most-wanted fugitive, has shown little signs of winding down. Reporters asking for cost estimates for the search were immediately rebuffed.
Authorities now believe, despite earlier reports Frein planned fleeing into the woods, that the suspected sniper did not plan for this outcome.
"I don't think this was his original plan," said Bivens. "He had planned to some degree for this possibility, but I do not think this was his plan... it is not a very good plan."
Cops have also uncovered several places where Frein is believed to have stayed, but they could also have been hunting blinds for deer hunters, Bivens admitted.
He would not confirm what other possessions of Freins have been found in the woods. Bivens also declined to say if the woods had been booby-trapped by Frein or not.
Addressing previous rumors that Trooper Douglass was targeted by Frein for personal reasons, Bivens also said the incident was random.
"We have found nothing to suggest those troopers were specifically targeted," he said.
Trooper Douglass, according to Bivens, is slowly recovering but "in good spirits."
The search remains ongoing.
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