Authorities say the suspected bomber responsible for two deaths and several injuries in Texas has died from a self-inflicted explosion.
The man suspected of carrying out a string of bombings that killed two people and wounded several others in the Austin area is dead after detonating a bomb in a car as SWAT teams closed in.
Authorities tracked down the suspect, identified as Mark Anthony Conditt, 24, using a combination of cell phone triangulation technology, surveillance footage from a FedEx drop-off store, store receipts, and combing through Google searches on the suspect’s computer history, KVUE-TV and the Austin American-Statesman report.
Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said in an early morning press conference that witness reports helped police identify the vehicle Conditt was driving. Manley said surveillance teams then tracked the suspect’s vehicle to a hotel in Round Rock, Texas.
“We had multiple officers from both the police department and our federal partners that took up positions around the hotel awaiting the arrival of tactical teams,” Manley said. “We wanted to have ballistic vehicles here so we could attempt to take the suspect into custody.”
Manley said that while authorities waited for the ballistic vehicles, the suspect started to drive away from the hotel. Authorities followed the vehicle, which pulled off into a ditch.
“As members of the Austin police department SWAT team approached the vehicle, the suspect detonated a bomb inside the vehicle, knocking one of our SWAT officers back, and one of our SWAT officers fired at the suspect as well,” Manley said.
The suspect died in the vehicle, according to Manley.
Manley said authorities still do not know the motive for the bombings.
Four bombings in Austin since March 2 have killed two people and wounded four. A fifth person suffered minor injuries when a package bomb exploded at a FedEx facility early Tuesday in Schertz, near San Antonio. That package was mailed from Austin, linking it to the serial bomber.
Another package found at a separate FedEx center in Austin later Tuesday had a bomb inside but was “disrupted” by law enforcement before it exploded, the FBI said in a statement.
One person was injured in Austin after an “incendiary device” was found at a Goodwill store Tuesday, but police said that incident did not appear be related to the other bombings.
Manley warned Austin-area residents to stay vigilant and stressed that police do not know where Conditt was over the last 24 hours.
“Throughout these weeks we’ve talked about the importance of remaining vigilant and looking out for each other,” he said. “I want to continue that message as we stand here this morning because we don’t know where this suspect has spent his last 24 hours and therefore we need to remain vigilant to ensure that no other packages or devices have been left in the community.”
Contributing: Jane Onyanga-Omara, Christal Hayes, John C Moritz and John Bacon
Austin explosion not related to other blasts | 1:49
Police and federal authorities say the latest explosion to hit Austin was caused by an “incendiary device” and is not related to the series of bombs that has rocked Texas’ capital city. (March 20)
1 of 16
Police: Austin bomb suspect blew himself up | 2:17
Austin, Texas police chief Brian Manley says the suspect in a string of bombings in that city is dead, and that the suspect blew himself up in his vehicle on Wednesday morning as officers approached. (March 21)
2 of 16
San Antonio package bomb believed to be linked to serial bomber | 1:40
A package bomb that exploded at a FEDEX facility near San Antonio is believed to be linked to a serial bomber that’s been terrorizing Austin, 80 miles away.
3 of 16
Raw: Explosion in Fedex plant near San Antonio | 0:53
The San Antonio Texas Fire Department says a package bomb has exploded at a FedEx distribution center in Schertz, Texas, hurting 1 person, a FedEx employee who apparently suffered a non-life-threatening “percussion-type” injury from the blast. (March 20)
4 of 16
Austin blast left victims ‘bleeding profusely’ | 1:02
The grandfather of one of the latest bombing victims in Austin says the blast left what appeared to be nails stuck below his grandson’s knees. William Grote told The Associated Press that his grandson was cognizant Monday but in a lot of pain. (March 19)
5 of 16
FBI: Schertz, Texas bomb may be linked to Austin bombings | 1:37
Another bomb has exploded, this time, at a Fed Ex facility just outside of San Antonio, injuring one woman.
6 of 16
Fear escalates in Austin after 4th explosion | 2:33
Fear escalated across Texas’ capital city on Monday after the fourth bombing this month, a blast that was triggered by a tripwire. (March 19)
7 of 16
Former DOJ official: Explosions may be linked | 2:21
A former official with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms at the Department of Justice said police in Austin, Texas are trying to determine whether the recent explosions in the city are linked, or whether there is a “copycat” bomber. (March 19)
8 of 16
Use of tripwire adds urgency to Austin blasts | 2:46
Authorities in Austin, Texas say more resources are being brought in to deal with an apparent serial bomber. A fourth blast, which injured two people and was set off by a tripwire, occurred Sunday. (March 19)
9 of 16
A fourth explosion could be linked to Austin bombings | 1:34
Two men were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries after another explosion rocked residents in southwest Austin.
10 of 16
Federal agents swarm Austin explosion area | 0:52
Federal agents swarmed the Austin, Texas neighborhood where an explosion injured two people on Sunday night. Police aren’t saying if it was caused by a package bomb like the three that detonated earlier this month elsewhere in the city. (March 19)
11 of 16
Police: ‘Tripwire’ may have set off Austin blast | 1:39
The Austin, Texas police chief says a person coming into contact with a tripwire may have set off the Sunday night explosion in that city. It follows several other blasts in Austin. Two men were injured. (March 19)
12 of 16
Austin, Texas explosion injures two | 1:10
Another explosion has been reported in Austin, Texas, and police say two people were injured. The new blast was far from eastern parts of the city where three package bombs exploded earlier this month. (March 19)
13 of 16
Police search for motive in Austin bombings | 1:17
Three package bombs left on doorsteps have exploded in less than two weeks in Austin, killing two people, wounding two others and leaving investigators searching for any possible explanation or motive. All of the victims were minorities. (March 13)
14 of 16
Teenager is latest victim in Austin package explosions | 1:52
A 17-year-old boy is the latest victim in a series of deadly and unexplained package explosions in Austin. Authorities still have not identified a motive or suspect for the deadly attacks.
15 of 16
Texas package bombs likely tied to earlier blast | 1:36
Two package bomb blasts a few miles apart killed a teenager and wounded two women in Austin on Monday, less than two weeks after a similar attack left a man dead in another part of the Texas capital. (March 12)
16 of 16
Austin explosion not related to other blasts
Police: Austin bomb suspect blew himself up
San Antonio package bomb believed to be linked to serial bomber
Raw: Explosion in Fedex plant near San Antonio
Austin blast left victims ‘bleeding profusely’
FBI: Schertz, Texas bomb may be linked to Austin bombings
Fear escalates in Austin after 4th explosion
Former DOJ official: Explosions may be linked
Use of tripwire adds urgency to Austin blasts
A fourth explosion could be linked to Austin bombings
Federal agents swarm Austin explosion area
Police: ‘Tripwire’ may have set off Austin blast
Austin, Texas explosion injures two
Police search for motive in Austin bombings
Teenager is latest victim in Austin package explosions
Texas package bombs likely tied to earlier blast
Read or Share this story: https://usat.ly/2FPzpn8