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Austin Bomber Detonates Homemade Device after Police Pursuit

A 23-year-old man who terrorized the city of Austin, Texas for the previous 19 days through a series of homemade bombs blew himself up inside of an SUV earlier this week. Mark Anthony Conditt killed two and injured several others with explosives in packages.

On March 2, 39-year-old Anthony House was killed by a package bomb left on the front steps of his home. On March 12, 17-year-old Draylen Mason was killed by an explosion from a package at his home. Mason's mother was injured in the blast. A second explosion on March 12 seriously injured 75-year-old Esperanza Herrera.

On March 18, a package left on the side of the road, attached to a "Caution" sign, exploded; injuring two young men in their twenties. This package bomb was suspected to be tripwire-activated. 

On March 20, a bomb exploded in apackage at a FedEx facility in Schertz, Texas. One employee was injured in the blast. The package was being delivered to an address in Austin. Another suspicious package was reported later that day at a different FedEx facility in Austin. Both packages were sent by the same person from a FedEx store in Sunset Valley. 

Various leads led the law enforcement investigation to Conditt, including surveillance footage inside and near the FedEx store where he shipped two packages containing explosives. Agents were able to track Conditt's cell phone number through the license plate on the truck he drove. A fugitive task force organized by the United States Marshall Service began tracking Conditt's every move.

Around 4 p.m. on Tuesday, paramedics were notified about a "medical alarm" at Conditt's home in Pflugerville, Texas. The person who answered the door told the paramedics no one inside the home called 911. The paramedics left the residence around 4:11 p.m. It is believed that the call for immediate medical aid to the residence was a misread request by the investigators for paramedics to remain near the home. It is unknown whether Conditt answered the door himself. Investigator's believe this visit tipped Conditt off that the authorities were closing in. 

Conditt got in his red SUV, and drove to Red Rock. Police believe he knew he was being tailed. The SWAT team used a tactical vehicle maneuver to push Conditt's vehicle on the side of Interstate 35. As officers approached the vehicle, an explosion went off inside the vehicle. Conditt died instantly. 

Both men killed by Conditt's devices were African-American. Authorities initially believed the bombings could be racially motivated, but a 25-minute video confession recorded on Conditt's phone prior to his death did not mention any aspect of terror or hate. 

A search of Conditt's home uncovered explosive materials and components for making similar bombs to those that had exploded in Austin in the prior weeks. Most materials can be found in a hardware or sporting goods store. Two of Conditt's roommates were detained by police and questioned but eventually released. No further arrests have been made. 

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