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LINCOLNCOUNTY, N.C. -- Lincoln County Sheriff's deputies are investigating the explosion of three pipe bombs in a residential area off Highway 73 on Monday morning.

Lincoln County authorities received a call around 12:45 a.m. about an explosion and small fire in the yard of a residence in the 5900 block of Dalmatian Drive near Highway 73.

(Click here to view scene photos)

Deputies arrived on the scene and discovered one unexploded device near the roadway. The Gastonia Police Bomb Squad and detectives were called in and detonated the remaining device.

The device was described as being a foot-long piece of PVC pipe attached to a small container of propane.

Agents with the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms arrived on the scene about 4 a.m. and are investigating the incident.

No one was injured in the incident and only a small fire occurred in the yard of the home.

Officials are looking into the possibility that this was a hate crime targeting an African American family that lives in the home. The sheriff's office says painted on hate markings were found just under a mile away on Great Dane Street.

However, there is no official connection between the markings and the pipe bombs.

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