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Austin bombings
March 25, 2018

Mark Anthony Conditt, the deceased suspect in the serial bombings in Austin that killed two people and injured several more, left a recording on his cell phone reflecting on the attacks.

"He did refer to himself as a psychopath. He did not show any remorse, in fact questioning himself for why he didn't feel any remorse for what he did," said Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), who heard the tape, at a news conference Saturday.

Authorities are still investigating Conditt's motives; three of the victims were minorities, suggesting a possible component of racism. "The best evidence we have at this point in time is the confession itself," McCaul said. Bonnie Kristian

March 22, 2018

Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said Wednesday evening that the presumptive serial bomber who died in a police standoff early Wednesday morning left a video recording on his phone, which was recovered from his car after the suspect, Mark Conditt, detonated an explosive device. "I would classify this as a confession," Manley said, and in it Conditt, 23, describes in some detail the six complete explosive devices that went off in and around Austin starting March 2 and ending with his apparent suicide blast. The six explosions killed two other people — Anthony House, 39, and Draylen Mason, 17 — and wounded at least four others.

Conditt made the recording between 9 and 11 p.m. Tuesday night, as police were closing in on him, and while he talked about what he did, Manley said, he did not provide a motive. "We are never going to be able to put a [rationale] behind these acts, but what I can tell you having listened to that recording: He does not at all mention anything about terrorism nor does he mention anything about hate, but instead, it is the outcry of a very challenged young man, talking about challenges in his personal life that led him to this point."

Police and federal law enforcement tracked Conditt down using several methods, including supply purchases at a Home Depot, but his decision to ship two explosives-laden packages from a FedEx store on Sunday gave investigators surveillance footage of him, his car, and his license plate. On Wednesday, police found unfinished homemade explosives and materials at his house in the Austin suburb of Pflugerville. You can learn more in the CNN report below. Peter Weber

March 21, 2018

The family of Mark Anthony Conditt, the Austin bombing suspect who died early Wednesday after he blew himself up in his car, said they are "devastated and broken" by what happened, and "had no idea of the darkness that Mark must have been in."

In a statement to CNN, members of the Conditt family in Colorado — not his parents in Texas — said they were "grieving" and "in shock," and "right now, our prayers are for those families that have lost loved ones, for those impacted in any way, and for the soul of our Mark." Law enforcement officials said that late Tuesday, they identified Conditt, 24, as a suspect in a string of bombings across Austin, which left two dead and four injured, and were moving in on a hotel in Round Rock to arrest him. Conditt drove away, tailed by police, and after he drove into a ditch, detonated an explosive that killed him. Police have not revealed a possible motive.

Two of Conditt's roommates were detained and questioned, and police said it's possible he planted or mailed other packages before he died. The Los Angeles Times reports that in a blog he started in 2012 as part of a class assignment at Austin Community College, Conditt described himself as a conservative "but not politically inclined," and wrote posts in favor of the death penalty and against abortion and making gay marriage legal. Conditt was home schooled and fired last year from his job at a manufacturing company, and one of his former friends told the Times that "a lot of people jump to conclusions and want to make him out to be a conservative terrorist. But I think it has more to do with loneliness and anger than it has to do with anything else." Catherine Garcia

Editor's note: This article originally misstated who released the statement about Mark Conditt. It has since been corrected. We regret the error.

March 21, 2018

The suspect in the serial bombings that terrorized Austin this month was killed early Wednesday during a standoff with police along Interstate 35 in Round Rock, just north of Austin, police tell local media. The suspect detonated an explosive device and possibly shot himself, CBS News reports. A high-ranking law enforcement official tells the Austin American-Statesman that authorities identified the suspect within the past 24 hours, thanks mostly to evidence gathered from when the suspect shipped explosives-filled packages from a FedEx store in southwest Austin, one of which went off at a FedEx facility north of San Antonio early Tuesday. The official also said that along with surveillance video from FedEx, authorities studied suspicious purchases by the suspect and his Google history obtained through a warrant, and they tracked the suspect to a hotel using cellphone tracking technology.

Since March 2, at least five explosions killed two people in Austin and injured at least four others. The latest scare was an apparently unrelated incendiary device that went off at a Goodwill store in South Austin. Peter Weber

Update 6:15 am E.T.: Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said at a press conference that the suspect, a 24-year-old white male, blew himself up inside his car after police followed him from a hotel parking lot. One officer was injured and another fired at the suspect. "We do not understand what motivated him to do what he did," Manley said, and police will not identify the suspect until he is positively identified by a medical examiner. "We don't know where this suspect spent the last 24 hours," or if he had any accomplices, he added, so residents of Austin and surrounding communities should still exercise caution. You can watch the news conference below.

March 20, 2018

Update 2:26 p.m. ET: The San Antonio police chief told the Austin-American Statesman that he "misspoke when he claimed a second suspicious package was found at a FedEx facility in Schertz." A second device was not found, and The Washington Post has likewise amended their reporting. Our original article appears below.

Police have discovered a second explosive device at a FedEx facility in Schertz, Texas, where an early morning explosion left one employee injured, The Washington Post reports. The second device had not yet detonated when it was uncovered by the police, and authorities hope it will offer clues to help identify a suspect believed to be serially bombing residents of Austin, where the devices at the Schertz facility were reportedly headed.

The Schertz police chief told reporters that investigators are "confident that neither this facility nor any location in the Schertz area was the target" of Tuesday's bombs.

To date, the Austin bombings have killed two people and injured an additional four. "In bomb investigations, unexploded devices can be critical to narrowing the search for suspects, because the materials used to assemble the device can be traced back to the supplier — and, in many cases, the individual purchaser," writes The Washington Post. Jeva Lange

March 20, 2018

A female FedEx employee was injured early Tuesday when a package at the FedEx facility in Schertz, Texas, exploded. SanantonioFIRE says the package was destined for Austin, and the FBI tells CBS News that it is "more than possible" that the explosion is linked to the four explosions in Austin this month. Two people were killed and four injured in those blasts.

The latest of the explosions was Sunday night, when two men in their early 20s hit a tripwire, setting off an explosive device anchored to a metal yard sign near the head of a hiking trail in southwest Austin, according to the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. "We are clearly dealing with what we believe to be a serial bomber at this point," Austin police Chief Brian Manley said Monday, before the Schertz explosion.

The previous three package bombs were believed to have been hand delivered to their targets, not sent through the mail or a package service. There is a $115,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the bomber or bombers. Peter Weber

March 20, 2018

The suspected serial bomber targeting Austin, believed to have set up explosions that killed two people and injured five, is "showing that he's quite good," Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said Monday.

Since March 2, four bombs have gone off around the city — three were left on doorsteps, and one was triggered Sunday night when two men on their bicycles hit a tripwire; they were seriously injured, but are expected to survive. Due to similarities between the devices, it's believed that all four bombings are linked, and only a few hours before the fourth bomb went off, law enforcement officials pleaded with the bomber to give them a call. "We've opened ourselves up for a message, and that's why we asked him to contact us and gave him phone numbers for him to contact us at," Manley told CBS News.

Manley said he believes the person is "showing that he's quite good. This person is taunting law enforcement in the city, that he's one step ahead." Former counterterrorism agent Fred Burton told CBS News the suspect is likely watching the news to see what people are saying about the attacks, and "knows explosives," possibly learning while in the military. There are now 500 federal agents working the case in Austin, and officials are offering a reward of $115,000 for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect. Catherine Garcia

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