Daniel Andreas San Diego is accused of bombing two buildings in California in 2003, targeting companies that used animals for product testing.
More than a decade later, the FBI is canvassing Puna, putting up wanted postings and offering a $250,000 reward for his capture.
"If he is around here, I hope someone who needs the money catches him," said Bethany Kiley, an employee at Jeff Hunt Surfboards in Pahoa.
She said she was at work when three FBI agents came in.
"They showed us their FBI badges and they gave us the flyer for this guy," Kiley said. "They wanted us to know that he is armed and dangerous and he likes explosives."
Kiley said the agents told her they've gotten tips that San Diego may be spending time in Pahoa.
Tiffany Edwards Hunt, co-owner of Jeff Hunt Surfboards, said it's a place where people can disappear.
"It is one of those things about Puna and Pahoa and the Big Island is that there's people hiding in plain sight," Hunt said.
"He may or may not actually be on Hawaii Island, but we are taking this lead seriously out of genuine concern for local residents," said Honolulu FBI Special Agent Tom Simon. "It's important to recognize that this guy is considered armed and dangerous. If you know where he is, please just call it in. We don't want anyone getting hurt trying to be a hero."
The FBI believes San Diego is extremely secretive, carries a handgun and uses prepaid cellphone cards to avoid detection. But he also has distinctive tattoos: a burning hillside in the center of his chest as well as burning and collapsed buildings on his abdomen and back. Although if he's wearing a shirt, it'd be difficult to tell.
"Because of how he looks and how regular he looks, and how he's changed his identity, I started thinking, wow, maybe I've seen him around," Kiley said.
"If Hawaii Island residents would help the FBI by circulating the fugitive's photos on their social networks, we'd sure appreciate it," said Simon.
If you've seen Daniel Andrea San Diego, call the FBI in Honolulu at 808-566-4300.