Police are keeping an open mind as to who is behind the explosive device that was found on Tuesday afternoon in Marbella and what, or who, the intended target was.
Officers in charge of the investigation are trying to establish if it is linked to terrorism, or, as they suspect, it has more to do with score settling by an organised criminal gang.
The alarm was raised on Tuesday afternoon on Calle Lavanda, part of Alto de los Monteros, a luxury residential area on the hills behind Marbella's Hospital Costa del Sol. A maintenance worker came across the device by chance noticing a strange package inside a street litter bin.
A bomb disposal team was sent from Malaga who carried out a controlled explosion. Officers say the bomb was wrapped in bags and was designed, and ready, to be remotely detonated, although it wasn't primed to explode when it was discovered.
Sources said that the explosive device appeared to have been home- made from parts sourced outside Spain.
The size and nature of the bomb leads officers to believe it wasn't part of a planned mass attack and was to be used selectively against a specific target. Indications are that it was only in the bin temporarily, perhaps while somebody came to collect it.
While police initially thought it was part of a terrorist plot, officers are now looking at connections to organised criminal gangs, or the possibility that it was a planned attack related to a specific business activity in the resort.