Austin Bomber Dies, Detonating Bomb in Car

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The suspect in a string of bombings in Austin is dead, reports the Austin American-Statesman. Interim Police Chief Brian Manley said authorities tracked down the suspect’s vehicle to a hotel in Round Rock, Tx., just north of Austin. Police began following the suspect’s vehicle, and as SWAT officers approached, the suspect detonated a bomb in the car. The bomber was identified as Mark Conditt, 23, of Pflugerville, Tx., who worked as a purchasing agent for a semiconductor firm. Although police are still investigating the possibility of accomplices, Manley said, “we believe this individual is responsible for all of the incidents in Austin.” Manley urged the community to remain vigilant for possible other explosives, adding that “we do not know where (the suspect) has been in the past 24 hours.” Police have not identified a motive for the bombings.

The break in the case was based largely on information gained after the suspect shipped an explosive device from a FedEx store in Sunset Valley, a suburb surrounded by Austin. Authorities also relied on store receipts showing suspicious transactions and obtained a warrant for his Google search history that showed him conducting searches they considered suspicious. Authorities used cell phone technology to trace the suspect to a hotel. Four bombs exploded in Austin starting on March 2, killing two men and injuring four people. A fifth bomb exploded early Tuesday at a FedEx sorting facility in Schertz, 60 miles southwest of Austin. A package containing an apparent unexploded bomb was found Tuesday at a FedEx distribution center in Austin. The use of FedEx represented a major shift in the bomber’s methods and a major break for authorities. The first three bombs were left overnight on doorsteps and were not delivered commercially. The fourth bomb was left next to a street in a residential subdivision and was triggered by a trip wire strung over a sidewalk.

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