Austin, TX – The serial bomber, who had been terrorizing residents of Austin for weeks, made a videotaped confession claiming all of his explosive devices before he blew himself up early Wednesday morning.
But unfortunately, 23-year-old Mark Anthony Conditt did not explain what motivated him to build the bombs and how he targeted his victims, police said.
Conditt made his confession on a cell phone that police found with his body, FOX News reported. The bomber blew himself before law enforcement authorities could take him into custody and question him in person about his bombing spree.
"I know everybody is interested in a motive and understanding why. And we're never going to be able to put a [rationale] behind these acts."
Austin Police Chief Brian Manley told reporters at a press conference that Conditt had described the seven explosive devices that had detonated “with a level of specificity” that left no doubt as to whether he had built them.
All of the devices that Conditt described in his confession have already exploded, leaving police to believe the threat had been neutralized when the bomber took his own life.
Police believe the recording was made by the bomber between nine and 11 p.m. on Tuesday night, the chief said.
At the press conference, Chief Manley urged Austin residents to remain “vigilant” despite Conditt’s bombs being “no longer in play.”
Surveillance video from the shipping location showed Conditt walking in with two boxes, wearing light colored gloves and blonde wig with a hat.
One of those packages exploded on a conveyor belt at the FedEx facility in Schertz, and the other was recovered before it detonated at a FedEx facility near the Austin airport, police said.
Once the first of those two packages exploded, alerting authorities, there was a rapid series of breaks in the investigation, ABC News reported.
CNN reported that authorities had found a “bombmaking lair” inside the house Conditt occupied with roommates.
In one room, investigators found components for making similar bombs to the ones that exploded in the past weeks, said Fred Milanowski, the special agent in charge for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in Houston.
Milanowski said that agents did not find any additional completed bombs at the residence, CNN reported.
The chief explained that the suspect had become a person of interest about 36 hours before he dramatically blew himself up on the side of a road.
Witnesses had given authorities a description of the suspect and his vehicle, and police had located him at the hotel and were investigating, the chief said.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott said authorities had been tracking the suspect for a couple of days before they located him at the Red Roof Inn in Round Rock, not far from his hometown of Pflugerville.
“We’ve known for a couple of days who the suspect likely was,” Abbott said. “Law enforcement is at his house in Pflugerville where we are learning whether or not that was the location he was making his bombs.”
Law enforcement sources told the Austin American-Statesman that Conditt’s Google history showed investigators that he’d been seeking out other addresses in Austin that police believed were going to be his next targets.
On Tuesday, Texas Department of Public Safety troopers visited two addresses in the Cedar Park area to warn the residents that they may have been targeted, the Statesman reported.
“We believe that this individual is responsible for all incidents that have taken place in Austin starting on March 2, and those that occurred since then as well,” Chief Manley said.
On Wednesday morning, at about 1:30 a.m., police found Conditt's vehicle at the motel, ABC News reported.
Authorities set up to watch the parking lot while they waited for tactical teams and ballistic equipment to arrive at the scene. Then the suspect’s vehicle suddenly started to drive away, Chief Manley said.
Police followed him until he pulled over. When the vehicle stopped, Austin SWAT officers approached the suspect’s vehicle, and knocked on the window.
Within seconds, the suspect detonated an explosive device inside his vehicle, the chief said.
One SWAT officer fired his weapon at the vehicle, and another SWAT officer was knocked backwards by the blast from inside the vehicle, and suffered minor injuries, Chief Manley said.