A man who was suspected of carrying out the recent string of deadly package bombings in Austin has died after blowing himself up, Austin police announced early Wednesday morning.
Interim Austin Police Chief Brian Manley told reporters that police had zeroed in on the suspect—who has not been named but was described as a 24-year-old white man—in the last 24 to 36 hours, and had tracked his car to a nearby hotel. Manley said that a chase then ensued, and that, as the suspect was being pursued, he detonated a bomb in the car.
“We believe this individual is responsible for all of the incidents in Austin,” Manley said, though he added that he was still unsure of the motive behind the bombings.
President Trump, who waited for weeks before making any public comment about the bombings, expressed his enthusiasm for the death.
The package bombings, which have killed two people and injured five, have terrified Austin for nearly three weeks, ever since the first incident took place on March 2. The man who died Wednesday is suspected of sending at least six bombs. Several of the initial bombs were delivered to predominantly black neighborhoods, raising fears of a racially motivated attacker. Subsequent bombs wound up injuring two white men.
It was the appearance of a package bomb in a FedEx facility near San Antonio that apparently gave authorities their break. From the Austin American-Statesman:
The official said authorities identified a suspect in the past 24 hours based largely on information gained after police said the suspect shipped an explosive device from a FedEx store in Sunset Valley, a suburb surrounded by Austin. That evidence included security video.
Authorities also relied upon store receipts showing suspicious transactions from the person and obtained a search warrant for his Google search history that showed him conducting searches they considered suspicious, the official said.
Manley cautioned people that, though the suspect is dead, they should still be careful, because police have not determined conclusively that there are no more package bombs left in the Austin area.
Update, 9:40 AM: The suspect has been identified as Mark Anthony Conditt, according to the AP and NBC News.
Update, 4:23 PM: The FBI announced that it had found explosive devices in Conditt’s home.
You can read further information about Conditt here.
This is a developing story and is being updated.