- Citing law-enforcement officials, multiple news outlets have identified Mark Anthony Conditt, 23, as the suspect in a recent spate of bombings in Austin, Texas.
- Conditt blew himself up early Wednesday after being pursued by police.
- Authorities have not yet publicly identified a motive for the spate of bombings.
- Federal officials said Wednesday that they believe there are no more devices out in the public – but they warned Austin residents to be vigilant regardless.
Conditt, 23, died early Wednesday when he blew himself up in his vehicle as authorities closed in around him. The Austin Police Department told Business Insider it would not confirm the suspect’s identity until more ID checks had been completed and family had been informed.
But officials on Wednesday announced they had filed a criminal complaint in federal court the previous night, shortly before Conditt’s death, charging Conditt with one count of “unlawful possession and transfer of a destructive device.”
Authorities have not yet publicly identified a motive for the spate of deadly bombings that put the city on edge for weeks.
Local and federal law-enforcement officials said Wednesday afternoon that they found a room containing explosives and bomb-making material in the the suspect’s house.
An official from the federal Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives bureau told reporters that there were no completed devices in the home, but a number of components that were “consistent with what we’ve seen” from the bombs used in the previous explosions.
“We are not done with this investigation. It will continue,” Fred Milanowski, the special-agent-in-charge of the ATF’s Houston division, said.
Austin police also detained two of Conditt’s roommates on Wednesday, saying on Twitter that one had been released while the other was being questioned, but that neither was under arrest.
News outlets also posted surveillance footage showing a man they identified as Conditt mailing a package at a FedEx store.
Gov. Greg Abbott told the local NBC affiliate KXAN that the suspect was disguised in a blond wig that confused witnesses, whose descriptions helped authorities identify him.
BREAKING: Austin serialbombing suspect identified as 24-year-old Mark Anthony Conditt,according to two law enforcement sources familiar with theinvestigation pic.twitter.com/p7s2SR2La2
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) March 21, 2018
‘Quiet and introverted’
Conditt lived in Pflugerville, a city north of Austin, the Austin American-Statesman reported. He was home-schooled before attending Austin Community College, though he didn’t graduate.
Conditt was unemployed but previously worked for a small business called Crux Manufacturing. He was fired last August because he didn’t meet job expectations, the owner told the local ABC affiliate KVUE.
“He would prioritize things in his own way,” the owner said, adding that Conditt “was very quiet and introverted” and “seemed like a smart kid who showed a lot of promise.”
Conditt appeared to have a Facebook account but an otherwise sparse social-media presence. His mother, Danene, posted this photo of him in 2013:
- Facebook/Danene Conditt
A 2012 blog written by a Mark Conditt in Pflugerville outlined several of his political views and described himself as a conservative.
The blog, which appears to have been written as part of a college course on US politics and governance, contains posts opposing abortion rights and same-sex marriage and favoring the death penalty.
Conditt’s aunt in Colorado released a statement on behalf of the family on Wednesday, saying they had “no idea of the darkness that Mark must have been in.”
“Our family is a normal family in every way. We love, we pray, and we try to inspire and serve others,” the statement said. “Right now our prayers are for those families that have lost loved ones, for those impacted in any way, and for the soul of our Mark. We are grieving and we are in shock.”
How police tracked him down
Police believe Conditt is responsible for the recent spate of bombings in and around Austin that have killed two people and injured several others since March 2.
Last week, the Austin police chief, Brian Manley, told reporters that officials were investigating whether the bombings were race-related. The first package bombing, on March 2, killed a black man, and two other parcel bombings on March 12 left a black teenager dead and injured a black woman and a Hispanic woman. Two white men were injured in an explosion on Sunday; authorities believe that device was set off by a trip wire.
Law enforcement identified Conditt as a suspect after seeing surveillance footage from a FedEx store south of Austin, the American-Statesman reported. Officials then tracked down his online browsing history, which they said showed searches on various shipping facilities, and eventually located his vehicle, the BBC reported.
The Associated Press described a Texas congressman as saying the suspect bought bomb-making equipment at a Home Depot in his town.
US President Donald Trump congratulated “law enforcement and all concerned” after Conditt’s death.
AUSTIN BOMBING SUSPECT IS DEAD. Great job by law enforcement and all concerned!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 21, 2018
Police are still trying to figure out where the suspect was in the 24 hours before his death and whether there are other devices programmed to explode.
- Samantha Lee/Business Insider