MOORE COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- Sunday marked one year since the criminal attack on a Duke Energy power grid substation that left thousands of people in Moore County in the dark.
The power outage lasted for five days as community residents and businesses struggled to make it through each day without power and no clear explanation of why such an attack would occur.
"At the time we assumed it would be a normal routine outage," said Duke Energy spokesperson Jeff Brooks. "We referred to it initially as vandalism because we didn't know if it was people out having fun, ya know not that that's a fun thing, but people causing mischief or if, in fact, this was something more intentional."
Responding officials worked frantically to follow clues and leads but ultimately came up short.
"We did see evidence of gunfire at the scene and that quickly began to change the posture as the evening progressed into one an active situation that involved a threat to the grid," said Brooks. "This was an attack on a community. This was an attack on our employees who live and work in that community. So it's personal."
In the months following the attack, the North Carolina Governor's Office, Moore County Sheriff's Office, FBI, and Duke Energy have collectively offered a $100,000 reward for information leading up to an arrest.
To date, no arrests have been made.
However, the FBI recently said they have information to believe a 2011-2017 Honda Odyssey was seen near both attacked substations around the time of the event.
In a Facebook post, Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields wrote, "I want to assure you our investigation into the power attacks has not stopped. My Detectives and our partners at the FBI continue to work tirelessly on this case."
Additionally, Brooks said, "The reality is sometimes these types of things are hard and we know our law enforcement agencies are doing everything they can to follow the clues and find those responsible. We want to do everything we can to be helpful and provide information in their work."
NC Sen. Tom McInnis was a sponsor of Senate Bill 58, which increased penalties for attacks on energy/utility company infrastructure.
"It is our understanding that the Moore County Sheriff's Department, along with other state and federal law enforcement agencies, continue to investigate this matter with great diligence and tenacity," McInnis said in a statement to ABC11. "Due to the fact that it is an ongoing criminal investigation, I am not privileged to any confidential information. I am confident that the law enforcement agencies are doing everything within their power to bring the perpetrator or perpetrators to justice."
Moore County resident Donnie Oldham had to drive across the county to get gas for his generator to get power to his home. In the interim, he relied on his fireplace to keep warm and provide light.
"Had to go all the way up to Sanford to get gasoline to run it," Oldham said. "My mother-in-law is 96 years old. She was in the house with us. But luckily, we had a fireplace. So we had that going."
El Patron Tacos & Taqueria general manager Kody Harrison said, "When you're not really sure why it happened, how it happened, it's just disheartening, you know? Makes you really think about who's your neighbors and what people can do without any consequences."
Harrison said a majority of the food in the bar area and the freezer and refrigerator spoiled and had to be thrown away.
"Stuff just spoiled and it had to go in the trash. So we had to replace everything. Essentially, thousands of dollars just in the drain. Insurance can't cover something like that when you have to make to make repairs. It all comes out of pocket. And it can be frustrating when it's your own business," Harrison said. "Considering it's how I pay my bills and eat food and take care of the people around me, it's pretty frustrating waking up one morning and not knowing if you're going to be able to go to work."