The man suspected in a series of bombings in Austin, Texas, died this morning when he blew himself up in his vehicle as officers approached, the authorities said.
The authorities identified the suspect as Mark Conditt, a 23-year-old white man.
WHAT WE KNOW
>> Conditt resided in Pflugerville, about 20 miles from downtown Austin. He lived with two roommates who were detained and questioned by investigators, according to the Austin Police Department.
>> Law enforcement also entered the home of Conditt’s parents in Pflugerville. His family allowed investigators to search the property and was cooperating with the investigation, a police official said.
>> Conditt’s vehicle was traced to a hotel in Round Rock, outside Austin and near Pflugerville. A SWAT team surrounded the hotel and called for help from additional teams, but the suspect left the hotel before those units arrived. >
>> Conditt stopped in a ditch off Interstate 35 before detonating the device that killed him. The explosion also slightly injured a police officer, according to Austin’s police chief, Brian Manley.
>> Conditt is believed to be linked to six bombs that killed two people and injured five others. Four explosions hit locations in Austin where bombs were left. An additional device detonated at a FedEx distribution center in Schertz, near San Antonio, while the sixth was found undetonated in a facility near Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.
>> Conditt created a blog about his political views as a requirement for a political-science class he took at Austin Community College, according to McKenna McIntosh, a classmate of Conditt’s. In an author description, he described himself as a conservative. His posts include arguments against same-sex marriage and sex offender registries and a defense of the death penalty.
>> Conditt, the oldest of four children, was home-schooled by his mother. He also attended classes at two Austin Community College campuses from 2010 to 2012, but did not graduate.
>> The suspect was described as a quiet man from a “tight-knit, godly family” by Donna Sebastian Harp, who had known the family for nearly 18 years. “He was a nerd, always reading, devouring books and computers and things like that,” Harp said.
WHAT WE DON’T KNOW
>> The suspect’s motive is still unclear. The first explosions hit African-American residents whose families are well-known in the city’s black community, though two white men were injured by an explosive triggered by a tripwire on Sunday.
>> It is not yet clear whether Conditt acted alone or was working with others. Officials have not ruled out the possibility that he had accomplices.
>> It is not known whether the suspect mailed or placed other explosive devices that have yet to detonate.
>> There has been no indication that a Reddit thread from a user claiming to be the Austin bomber is linked to Conditt. Hours before Conditt died, a person with the username “austinbomber” posted an “ask me anything” thread on Reddit. The post was removed within an hour, according to statement from Reddit.