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Austin bombing suspect dead, mayor warns residents to remain vigilant

(KNOE)
Published: Mar. 21, 2018 at 5:12 AM CDT
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Austin's police chief says the serial bombing suspect who has terrified Texas' capital city this month is dead. However, Austin Mayor Steve Adler is urging residents to stay vigilant.

Authorities believe the suspect who died as SWAT officers were closing in on him early Wednesday morning, was behind all of the bombings in Austin this month. But they're concerned that there may be other package bombs "that are still out there."

CBS News has identified the suspect in the bombings as 24-year-old Mark Anthony Conditt of Pflugerville. Police have blocked off the roads around Wilbarger and Second streets in Pflugerville, which is not far from where a package bomb killed a 39-year-old man on March 2.

Pflugerville Mayor Victor Gonzales told The Associated Press that the bomber lived in his city, two blocks from his house.

Austin police Chief Brian Manley said at a news conference early Wednesday that the 24-year-old is believed to have been responsible for all major Austin bombings since March 2. He said the motivation for the bombings remains a mystery.

FBI agent Chris Combs, head of the agency's San Antonio office, says, "We are concerned that there may be other packages that are still out there."

The four package bombs in Austin this month killed two people and injured four others. A fifth parcel bomb detonated at a FedEx distribution center near San Antonio early Tuesday.

Police Chief Brian Manley said at a news conference early Wednesday that the suspect set off an explosive device inside of his vehicle in a suburban Austin hotel parking lot as SWAT teams closed in. One SWAT team member fired a shot at the vehicle.

Manley says investigators don't know the motive behind this month's string of bombings in the Texas capital and a federal agent says "it's hard to say" whether the dead suspect was acting alone.

Fred Milanowski, agent in charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms' Houston Field Division, told reporters Wednesday that investigators believe the dead suspect built all of four of the package bombs that have blown up in Austin since March 2.

Milanowski says investigators aren't completely convinced that there aren't other explosive devices "out there," and that they want the public to remain vigilant.

He called the bomb that killed the suspect "a significant explosive device."

Asked if the suspect built bombs prior to the start of the spree in Austin, Milanowski responded: "We know when he bought some of the components. It's hard to say whether he was building along the way"

 CBS News has identified the suspect in the bombings as 24-year-old Mark Anthony Conditt of Pflugerville.

Police have blocked off the roads around Wilbarger and Second streets in Pflugerville, which is just north of Austin and not far from where a package bomb killed a 39-year-old man on March 2.

Pflugerville Mayor Victor Gonzales told The Associated Press that the bomber lived in his city, two blocks from his house.

Jay Schulze, who has lived in the Pflugerville neighborhood for 13 years, says he was out jogging last night when he was stopped by police and asked about the bombings. He says there has been a large police presence in the neighborhood since last night and that that police flew drones over a home from about 9 p.m. until about 3 a.m.

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.