Austin bombing suspect identified; Police say he blew himself up

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Reports vary on how the suspect died: CBS Austin reports that police were closing in early Wednesday morning and the suspect died in an explosion in a vehicle.

Authorities say a cell phone video containing the 25-minute video recording is part of a growing cache of evidence investigators have gathered since 23-year-old Mark Andrew Conditt blew himself up inside his SUV Wednesday, as a SWAT team tried to close in on him.

Citing a high-ranking law enforcement official, the Austin American-Statesman reported that authorities had identified the suspect based largely on information, including security video, gleaned after he sent an explosive device from an Austin-area FedEx store.

Conditt described the bombs in detail and also described the differences between them in a precise manner that matches police findings.

"It is the outcry of a very challenged young man talking about challenges in his own life", he added. "We had no idea of the darkness that Mark must have been in", the family said.

"The family is grieved both for their loss and also for the loss of those affected by these heinous actions", said Eddie Harp.

Law enforcement officials did not immediately say whether Conditt acted alone in the five bombings in the Texas capital and suburban San Antonio that killed two people and badly wounded four others. He said authorities previously had leads on a red truck and that the surveillance video from the FedEx store — where Conditt is believed to have dropped off an explosive package destined for an Austin address — allowed investigators to identify him and the truck.

Federal agents searched Conditt's home in Pflugerville for nearly two days, cautiously removing explosive materials and looking for clues that could point to a reason for the bombings.

"The suspect's cellphone number showed up at each of the bombing sites as well as some key locations that helped them connect him to the crime", Abbott said.

Lee Rocha, who has lived in the neighborhood for 28 years, said he'd often see Conditt in town and at a karaoke bar. A spokesman for the church said no records of past engagement or past involvement by Conditt were found. One officer then fired his weapon at Conditt, the chief said.

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Abbott said police were able to closely monitor Conditt and his movements for about 24 hours before his death.

Jensen said Conditt had attended regular church services at Austin Stone Community Church but he didn't know if Conditt "held onto his faith". One senior law enforcement official said the batteries came from Asia.

"There is componentry in there that makes us believe to a high degree of certainty that it's the same componentry that they've found in other devices", he said.

The suspect had made a "fatal mistake" - he walked into a FedEx store.

She said she last saw Conditt over the Christmas holiday. Austin Community College confirmed that a "Mark Anthony Conditt", born in June 1994, was a student from 2010-12, but did not graduate. But McCaul said a psychological profile probably won't be known until investigators go through Conditt's writings and social media postings. Vess said he had created the blog as part of a USA government class project. The other was being questioned but had not been arrested, according to authorities.

Reyes says that when Goodwill received the box, they decided it wasn't appropriate for donation. Conditt wrote that gay marriage should be illegal, argued in favor of the death penalty and gave his thoughts on "why we might want to consider" eliminating sex offender registries. Jeff Reeb said he has lived next to Conditt's parents for about 17 years and described them as good neighbours. "We are not 100 percent convinced there's not other devices out there". "Congratulations to the combined law enforcement effort".

Since the bombings started on March 2, investigators frantically searched for clues, calling the attacks the work of a " serial bomber" who increasingly changed tactics.

ATF Special Agent in Charge Fred Milanowski told reporters that officials were "concerned that there may still be other devices out there".

The lives of Anthony Stephan House and Draylen Mason were cut short when explosive packages arrived on their doorsteps in Austin, Texas. Artillery simulators are devices sometimes used in military training.

Before dawn Tuesday, a bomb inside a package exploded around 1 it passed along a conveyer belt at a FedEx shipping center near San Antonio, causing minor injuries to a worker.