"This was not an intent to injure; this was an intent to kill," said a family friend who declined to be identified. "Everybody's going to make it, but there's a lot of heartache ahead. I'm still in shock."
Mr. Chappell was released from the hospital before 11 a.m.
The ATF agency is offering a reward up to $10,000 for information relating to the arrest and conviction of the offender(s) responsible for this incident.
Individuals that have information are being asked to notify the ATF via the following telephone numbers:
1-800-ATFBOMB or 1-313-202-3400
Several attorneys and members of the legal community who know Mr. Chappell said this morning they were told by federal agents to not discuss the case with media.
The explosive device detonated as the three were driving, apparently on their way to football practice, around 5:40 p.m. on E. Elm near I-75. Monroe police would acknowledge only that the three occupants were in serious condition. Mr. Chappell is a football coach in the area's Catholic Youth Organization.
The Detroit Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms is investigating the case and released no information this morning.
Sources, however, said Mr. Chappell had been receiving threats. He is a divorce attorney also involved with several high-profile Monroe County cases, including hot dog stand owners who sued the city in 2009 after they were banned from operating their carts.
It has not been determined if a suspect in the bombing has been developed, but police sources said there are so-called persons of interest.
It is believed the device was placed underneath the passenger side of the Chappell car. One of the boys was sitting in the passenger seat and suffered serious lower extremity injuries, especially to his legs.
The bomb may have contained shrapnel, because all three victims suffered wounds from flying debris, officials said.
There were no witnesses in the vicinity where the bomb exploded. It was believed that Mr. Chappell was able to drag his sons from the car, which quickly became engulfed in flames. The shell of the car is being stored at a secure area.
Monroe Police Chief Tom Moore said the case is in its early stages and ATF officials are the lead investigators.
Authorities zero in on Monroe car bomb suspect
The investigation appears to be focusing on the type of device used and why Mr. Chappell was targeted. He has an office in Sylvania, Ohio, and shares another office in Monroe, and has a wide range of clientele.
Because the bomb was so destructive, piecing it together to see if it was detonated by a timer or perhaps a cell phone has been difficult, investigators said. The bomb was filled with shrapnel.
Mr. Chappell, 42, suffered the least severe injuries and was able to pull his sons from the burning wreckage. He is believed to have placed a 911 call asking dispatchers to hurry because his boys were bleeding.
Here is that 911 call (with an unfeeling, out-of-touch dispatcher that may not have his job for much longer).