The FBI, ATF, DPS, and the Postal Inspector should all be commended for the amazing work they did to identify and locate the Austin bomber so quickly. Unfortunately, this story will fade quickly from the news, since no guns were used by the white, unemployed millennial.
The New York Post reports- Law enforcement officials identified the suspected Austin bomber who blew himself up as police converged on him as 23-year-old Mark Anthony Conditt of suburban Pflugerville, where he lived with two roommates.
Pflugerville Mayor Victor Gonzales said Conditt lived in his city, about 17 miles northeast of the capital and near where a package bomb killed a 39-year-old man March 2 — the first of four bombs.
Police tracked Conditt to a hotel in Round Rock, a city in the Austin metropolitan area, using a variety of tactics — including cellphone triangulation — and surveillance video from an Austin FedEx, NBC News reported.
They tracked his car until he pulled over on Interstate 35 about 3 a.m. EST and “detonated a bomb inside the vehicle, knocking one of our SWAT officers back,” Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said. The officer suffered minor injuries, he said.
Another SWAT team member fired his weapon and, as is standard practice, has been placed on administrative duty pending an investigation, Manley said.
“The suspect is deceased and has significant injuries from a blast that occurred from detonating a bomb inside his vehicle,” he added.
Police, FBI and personnel from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives responded to the scene, the ATF said in a tweet early Wednesday.
Jay Schulze, who has lived in the neighborhood for 13 years, said he was out jogging Tuesday night when he was stopped by police and asked about the bombings.
He said there has been a large police presence in the neighborhood and that authorities flew drones over a home from about 9 p.m. Tuesday until about 3 a.m. Wednesday.
He described the home over which the drones were flying as “a weird house with a lot of people coming and going” and a bit rundown.
Investigators who accessed Conditt’s Google search history found he had been looking up other addresses in Austin and the surrounding areas, a law enforcement official told the Austin American-Statesman.
Authorities in Pflugerville closed down the entire neighborhood while local, state and federal law enforcement officers investigated Conditt’s house.
Terrance Harper has worked as a barber at the shop for around seven years.
“It makes you be more aware, just knowing it could have been that close. That’s close to home,” he said. “Our lives could have been threatened. You never know (at what scale) he was producing the bombs.”
Harper said there was a suspicious package behind the shop on Saturday. It unnerved him enough to take a picture of it on his phone.
He said he didn’t know if police were ever called to investigate it.
8:50 a.m. update: A law enforcement official told the American-Statesman that investigators accessing Austin bombing suspect Mark Conditt’s Google search history found that he had been looking up other addresses in Austin and the surrounding area.
Late Tuesday, Texas Department of Public Safety troopers were dispatched to two homes in the Cedar Park area to check the front porch and to notify residents that they may be in danger.
The official said each of the bombs had “striking consistencies” in how they are manufactured.
Conditt, a Pflugerville resident, apparently killed himself early Wednesday as authorities closed in on him, local and federal law enforcement sources told the American-Statesman and KVUE-TV.
District Attorney Margaret Moore praised the investigation in an interview Wednesday morning, saying that “the participation has been truly remarkable by all the agencies involved, including the FBI, ATF, DPS, and the Postal Inspector.”
“(Austin police) was the lead all the way and threw everything at it. It was magnificent effort,” Moore said.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott told Fox News that Conditt’s roommates have been cooperating with authorities.
“I would venture to say those two roommates are not at this time suspects,” Abbott said.
Police shared the footage showing a man believed to be Conditt entering the FedEx facility wearing what appeared to be a blond wig and gloves as he dropped off two packages.
Officials said that although Conditt is believed to have acted alone, they urged residents to be careful.
— Mark D. Wilson (@MDWilsonSA) March 21, 2018