Updated March 21 10 a.m. ET: The Austin bombing suspect has been identified as Mark Anthony Conditt, a 24-year-old white male from Pflugerville, Texas, just 17 miles away from the city that he terrorized over the last three weeks, law enforcement sources told the Associated Press.
The man suspected of terrorizing Austin with serial bombs for the past few weeks blew himself up Wednesday morning, officials said.
The showdown began Tuesday evening in Round Rock, a city north of Austin, after police identified the suspect’s vehicle parked outside a hotel.
Surveillance teams surrounded the hotel in Williamson County, but before tactical teams arrived to make the arrest, the suspect fled in his vehicle.
Officers followed. Soon after, the suspect pulled to the side of the highway and detonated a device as SWAT officers moved in. The suspect was killed instantly.
One officer was injured in the blast, while another fired his weapon during the explosion.
Austin Police Chief Brian Manley told reporters the suspect was a 24-year-old white male, but would not give his name or where he lived as he had not been formally identified by the medical examiner.
"We do not understand what motivated him to do what he did,” but “we believe this individual is responsible for all incidents dating back to March 2," Manley said.
Manley said officers were still investigating whether there were others involved, and also the possibility that the suspect had posted additional packages:
“We don’t know where the suspect has spent his last 24 hours, so we need to remain vigilant,” Manley said. “If you see something that seems suspicious, report it.”
Cell phones and CCTV
Manley said police had zeroed in on the suspect in the last 36 hours. According to KVUE, an ABC-affiliate channel in Austin, cell phone technology, together with information obtained from Google, allowed the police to locate the suspect at his hotel.
A breakthrough in the case came Tuesday when a package exploded at a FedEx sorting center near San Antonio, and a second unexploded bomb was discovered at a FedEx facility near Austin. Police used surveillance video from the second store to identify the suspect.
Since March 2, there have been four attacks in Austin and one in Schertz, 65 miles south of the state capital. Two people have been killed with several more injured.
Cover image: Texas troopers redirect traffic near the site of another explosion in Austin, United States on March 20, 2018. (Photo by Marshall Foster/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)