AUSTIN, Texas — When Austin police detective Rolando Ramirez got the call March 2, 2018, that a man had been killed in a bomb blast, he had no idea what to think.

“The first thing I did was ask, ‘Has anybody ever worked a case like this,'" Ramirez said.

Over the next 19 days, Ramirez served as the Austin police lead homicide detective in the serial bombing case, which killed 39-year-old Stephan Anthony House and 17-year-old Draylen Mason in two separate attacks.

A year later, he is opening up about the case that consumed much of his life. He was new to the homicide division after a transfer from child abuse when the bombings first happened.

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Ramirez said Mason’s death was particularly difficult for him. 

“It was a young child who had the rest of his life to live,” Ramirez said. “That was the worst feeling, and then realizing that the person or persons did not care who the victim was.”

Ramirez said his case remains open, but that he’s hoping to close it in the next few weeks.

KVUE is partnering with the Austin American-Statesman for an exclusive special report on how federal and local investigators pieced together clues that led them to the bomber.

Stopping the Austin Bomber airs Friday, March 8, at 7 p.m. on KVUE.