A 24-year-old white male, believed to be the Austin bomber, blew himself up as police closed in on him following the latest bombing that took place on Tuesday morning.
The young suspect, Mark Anthony Conditt, apparently disguised himself as he dropped off several of the packages at FedEx.
In a report from NBC, we’re told that the FBI used facial recognition against drivers licenses in Texas, as well as tracking down places where components of the bombs were purchased to hone in on the suspect. The FBI, ATF and local police were able to also investigate a list of phone numbers, as well as triangulate cell phone usage to locate the suspect.
He had been tracked to a hotel in Round Rock, according to Austin Police Chief Brian Manley.
Just hours before police were able to locate him, Conditt turned his cell phone on, which gave them the ability to track his location.
He was then followed early Wednesday morning. According to reports, he attempted to exit Interstate 35 quickly and ended up in a ditch.
SWAT team members then approached his vehicle and as they did, Conditt set off a bomb inside that perhaps killed him, though at least one SWAT member fired into the vehicle.
Here’s a look at the Austin bomber’s car. Police say Mark Conditt, the 23 yo suspect, blew himself up. Officers say he’s tied to five other explosions, some deadly. @abc13houston pic.twitter.com/Z8D6CmbBBp
— Marla Carter (@MarlaABC13) March 21, 2018
“The suspect detonated a bomb inside the vehicle, knocking one of our SWAT officers back,” Manley said, adding that an officer close to the vehicle sustained minor injuries.
“The suspect is deceased and has significant injuries from a blast that occurred from detonating a bomb inside his vehicle,” he added.
A 2012 blog, which appears to be part of a government class project at Austin Community College, lists the author as Mark Conditt of Pflugerville, Texas. Conditt is believed to have been a resident of Pflugerville, north of Austin.stance as well as it should be defended,” a description of the author reads. “The reasons I am taking this class is because I want to understand the US government, and I hope that it will help me clarify my stance, and then defend it.”
NBC News could not immediately confirm if the blog belonged to the suspect, but public records show only one Mark Conditt in Pflugerville. Austin Community College confirmed that a “Mark Anthony Conditt” born in June 1994 was a student from 2010-2012, but did not graduate, adding that the school is “working with Austin Police Department to provide any information they need.”
The blog espouses political beliefs, including entries describing why the author believes gay marriage should not be legalized and why the United States should do away with sex offender registration.
“I am not that politically inclined. I view myself as a conservative, but I don’t think I have enough information to defend my stance as well as it should be defended,” a description of the author reads. “The reasons I am taking this class is because I want to understand the US government, and I hope that it will help me clarify my stance, and then defend it.”
Though Conditt’s roommates have been questioned, his motive remains a mystery.
“What we do know is we believe the same person built each one of these devices,” said Fred Milanowski, an agent with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. “We are not 100 percent convinced there’s not other devices out there.”
“We know when he bought some of the components. It’s hard to say whether he was building along the way,” Milanowsky said adding, that it was “hard to say” whether or not he acted alone at this time.
However, police did warn people to be vigilant as they did not know where he spent his last 24 hours and may have been able to ship more bombs.
“We don’t know where this suspect has spent his last 24 hours, and therefore we still need to remain vigilant to ensure that no other packages or devices have been left to the community,” Manley said.
The last bomb that was detonated occurred on Tuesday morning at a Fed Ex conveyor belt at a shipping center in Schertz, just northeast of San Antonio and about 60 miles southwest of Austin.
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