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Deceased Austin Bombing Suspect Is Identified

Law enforcement sources say he was Mark A. Conditt of Pflugerville
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 21, 2018 9:07 AM CDT
Updated Mar 21, 2018 2:57 PM CDT
Deceased Austin Bombing Suspect Is Identified
Officials investigate the scene where a suspect in a series of bombing attacks in Austin blew himself up early Wednesday as authorities closed in, Wednesday, March 21, 2018, in Round Rock, Texas.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

(Newser) – Pflugerville resident Mark A. Conditt has been identified by law enforcement sources as the suspected Austin serial bomber, the American-Statesman reports. The suspect blew himself up early Wednesday. The paper says Conditt, identified by police as 24, but 23 according to the public records it viewed, completed a home-schooled high school education and attended Austin Community College. An online job profile it viewed described him as a "purchasing Agent/buyer/shipping and receiving" for Crux Semiconductor in Austin, though Reuters described Conditt as unemployed. The paper was unable to find much in the way of social media posts under his name, but points to one from his mother in 2013 that noted her son was "thinking of taking some time to figure out what he wants to do….maybe a mission trip."

  • NBC found a 2012 blog, apparently written by Conditt as part of a community college government class, in which he discussed his views on various social and political topics. Among other things, he called homosexuality "not natural" and, writing about abortions, said: "If a woman does not want a baby, or is incapable of taking care of one, she should not participate in activities that were made for that reason."

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  • The AP reports Pflugerville Mayor Victor Gonzales lives two blocks from the suspect's home, though the AP didn't clarify whether that was Conditt's residence or his family's, which Reuters notes are about a mile apart. Gonzales says police were watching the home overnight Tuesday, and that he did not know the family.
  • The New York Times reports Conditt lived with two roommates in Pflugerville, and that they are cooperating with authorities. The AP later reported both roommates had been detained for questioning, with one having been released and one still being held as of around 2pm local time.
  • NBC has a statement from "Denver-area relatives" of Conditt, who say they are "devastated." "We had no idea of the darkness that Mark must have been in," it says. "Our family is a normal family in every way. We love, we pray, and we try to inspire and serve others."

  • KVUE's sources say Google search records, which allegedly included searches for addresses in Cedar Park and Austin, helped lead police to Conditt.
  • CNN elaborates, with sources saying that once authorities determined the bombs were constructed using common household ingredients, they began poring over receipts at area stores. That review apparently turned up key evidence that allegedly led them to Conditt, whose IP address they obtained. The uncovered Google searches, plus surveillance footage from a FedEx store where one of the bombs was shipped from (NBC News reports the suspect may have been wearing a blond wig), led police to believe they had their man.
  • NBC News' law enforcement sources say it wasn't just common ingredients: The bombs all reportedly used "exotic" batteries that were ordered online from Asia, which helped investigators make quick connections between the bombings. It reports they also made use of "cell-site analysis" to determine if certain individuals were in the vicinity of more than one bombing.
(Read more Austin stories.)

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