The man dubbed the “Austin Bomber,” is dead by his own hand as he detonated a device as a Texas SWAT team closed in on him early Wednesday morning, Texas authorities announced Wednesday.
The man, now identified as 23-year-old Mark Anthony Conditt, was responsible for the five devices that detonated in the Austin area in the last three weeks and terrorized its residents.
Investigators were able to close in on Conditt utilizing information from an unexploded device recovered from a FedEx shipping facility, cell tower data and surveillance video, as well as other sources.
The unexploded device gave a crucial clue to investigators because of the exotic batteries used to power the devices. They were able to compile a list of persons of interest from the purchases of these batteries from Asia.
Cell tower information was punched into computers and investigators were able to pinpoint which phones were in the areas and usage patterns were discerned defining users in the area of the incidents where devices were detonated.
Video was able to capture Conditt’s image on closed-circuit TV as he was dropping off an explosive device at an Austin-area FedEx. He can be seen wearing a blonde wig as he entered the facility, dropped off packages at the counter, then left.
Conditt turned on his cell phone in the early morning hours on Wednesday and authorities began tracking his movement. Conditt’s vehicle was located at a hotel in Round Rock 20 miles north of Austin just before 2 am.[xyz-ihs snippet=”adsense-body-ad”]As authorities converged on the location and SWAT was assembled, Conditt fled down I-35. While fleeing, Conditt ran into the ditch, moments later, as SWAT moved in, Conditt detonated his bomb, knocking a SWAT member back as another opened fire.
Conditt’s death may not signal the end of his threat. Authorities have so far, been unable to account for his activities for the preceding 24 hours and warn that other devices may be out there yet unaccounted for. Austin Police Chief Brian Manley states that residents should “remain vigilant.”
“BIG NEWS,” tweeted Texas Governor Greg Abbott. “The Austin Bomber is dead. More work needs to be done to ensure no more bombs had been sent before he died. … Congratulations to the combined law enforcement effort.”
Conditt’s devices are responsible for the deaths of two Austin men and the injury of another five.