FBI Closes Austin Bombing Case, But Investigation into Motive Continues

The FBI and Austin Police have officially closed the Austin bombing case, determining that Mark Conditt, 23, acted alone in building and setting off bombs that killed two people and injured five in Austin and Schertz last month, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

The federal criminal complaint against Conditt has officially dropped, after the Travis County Medical Examiner ruled that Conditt killed himself with one of his own devices as Austin Police closed in on him in the early morning hours of March 21.

"There are no further suspects at this time, and we have no reason to believe there is another destructive device out there," U.S. Attorney John Bash said.  

But he says even though the case is closed, investigators will continue searching through 'computer related information,' largely in hopes of determining a motive, if any, for the series of attacks.

But FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs says he is leaning against releasing Conditt's 20 minute long video 'confession' that was found on his cell phone after he died.

"We are concerned that it could inspire other people to do other acts," Combs said.  "The subject in the audio confession says a number of statements that concern us, and we won't want that to live forever on the Internet."

Officials did release the affidavits in support of a federal criminal complaint that was filed against Conditt just hours before he killed himself, and it sheds light on how Conditt built his bombs, and how he was detected.

FBI explosives experts first tied the bombs to the same person by comparing equipment used in the triggering mechanism.

The big break came when Conditt walked into a FedEx facility in the Austin suburb of Sunset Hills.  Surveillance video showed both Conditt and his red Ford Ranger in the parking lot.  They then discovered that a man matching Conditt's description had purchased five batthey holders with snap connectors at a Frye's Electronics store in Austin, and it was paid for with a credit card in Conditt's name.

When officials determined that Conditt did in fact own a red Ford Ranger, that linked him to the crimes.

They also determined that Conditt had purchased a sign reading 'Drive Like Your Kids Live Here,' at a Home Depot in the Austin suburb of Round Rock.  That was the same sign that was used as a connector for the trip wire bomb that exploded in a southwest Austin neighborhood, injuring two people.

The FBI also made contact with a confidential source who disclosed that the person in videos at the FedEx station, the Frye's and the Home Depot were in fact Mark Conditt.  He also replied that he was 70% confident' that the red Ford Ranger was in fact Conditt's truck.

The investigation also confirmed a previous theory that the second bomb that exploded in a house in East Austin, touching off the case, was in fact delivered by Conditt to the wrong house.


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