The serial bomber who terrorized Austin, Texas for three harrowing weeks was identified Wednesday morning — just hours after he blew himself to bits with his own device as cops closed in.
Mark Anthony Conditt, 24, was named as the bomber, a law enforcement official told the Associated Press. A picture of Conditt in 2013 from his mother’s Facebook page was authenticated by The Austin-American Statesman.
Conditt was killed near the motel he was traced to by authorities using surveillance footage from a Federal Express drop-off store and cell phone triangulation technology, according to The Austin American-Statesman.
The man, whose name was not released, died after fleeing the motel in a car, with police hot on his tail. He drove into a ditch, sparking the fatal confrontation.
“We wanted this to come to a peaceful resolution tonight,” said Austin Police Chief Brian Manley. “However, we were not afforded that opportunity when he started to drive away.”
Police said the man detonated two package bombs as police closed in, firing at him. It was not immediately clear whether he died from the bombs or shots fired by police. One officer was knocked back by the blasts, but none were seriously hurt.
Manley said police had zeroed in on a “person of interest” over the last 24-36 hours, tracing him to the motel in Round Rock, where they spotted his vehicle. The suspect is believed to be from the Pflugerville area, located near the site of the showdown with cops in Round Rock, FOX7 reported.
“Late last night and early this morning, we felt very confident this was the suspect in bombings throughout Austin,” Manley said.
As police took up positions around the motel and waited for tactical units to arrive, the suspect bolted, Manley said.
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Police followed the vehicle, and, when it went off the road, SWAT team officers moved in.
“The suspect is deceased with significant injuries,” Manley said, adding that he has not yet been positively identified by the medical examiner.
Manley also warned more package bombs could be out there.
“We don’t know where he has been in the past 24 hours,” Manley said. “If you see something that looks suspicious, see something out of place, see something that gives you concern, call 911.”