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How Police Finally Found Austin Bomber 03/22 06:20

   AUSTIN, Texas (AP) --- The suspected Austin bomber is dead after terrorizing 
Texas' capital city for three weeks. And in the end the manhunt wasn't cracked 
by hundreds of phoned-in tips, the big pot of reward money or police pleading 
to the bomber through TV.

   One of the largest bombing investigations in the U.S. since the Boston 
Marathon attacks in 2013 came to an intense close early Wednesday when 
authorities say they moved in on Mark Anthony Conditt at an interstate hotel. 
Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said Conditt blew himself up after running his 
sport utility vehicle into a ditch.

   Here is what's known about how authorities finally zeroed in on the 
suspected bomber after 19 days, two dead victims and more than 1,000 calls of 
suspicious packages around the city:



   Conditt had been careful to avoid cameras before entering a FedEx store in 
southwest Austin this week disguised in a blond wig and gloves, said U.S. House 
Homeland Security chairman Michael McCaul. The Austin congressman had been 
briefed by police, the FBI and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms 
and Explosives.

   McCaul said going into the store was Conditt's "fatal mistake." 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.

   Said Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, "I'm not sure how much they narrowed him down 
to an exact person of who he was before he went into that FedEx store."



   At the FedEx store, McCaul said investigators got from surveillance the 
truck license plate that linked the vehicle to Conditt, which in turn gave 
authorities a cellphone number they could track. McCaul said Conditt had 
powered down his phone for "quite some time" but that police closed in when he 
switched it back on.

   "He turned it on, it pinged, and then the chased ensued," McCaul said.

   Abbott said police were able to closely monitor Conditt and his movements 
for about 24 hours before his death. The governor said the phone number was 
used to tie Conditt to bombing sites around Austin.

   "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 



   Authorities say they also tracked down Conditt, a 23-year-old unemployed 
college dropout, through witness accounts and other purchases, including at a 
Home Depot where McCaul said the suspect bought nails and other bomb-making 

   Abbott said Conditt's purchases at the Home Depot also included five 
"CHILDREN AT PLAY" signs, one of which was used to rig a tripwire that was set 
off by two men Sunday in a southwest Austin neighborhood. One of them was 
walking and the other was riding a bike.

   William Grote told The Associated Press that his grandson was one of the 
victims and had nails embedded in his legs from Sunday's explosion.

   The batteries to power the bomb were purchased through the internet, McCaul 



   The initial bomber profile sketched out by FBI behavioral scientists was 
that he was most likely a white male, McCaul said. And while that part was 
right, the congressman said, a full psychological profile won't come together 
until investigators have time to comb through Conditt's writings and social 
media posts.

   Conditt's motive is not clear. But on Wednesday, police discovered a 
25-minute video recording on a cellphone found with Conditt, which Manley said 
he considers a "confession" to the bombings. Manley said it described the 
differences among the bombs in great detail.


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