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Austin Bomber Describes Bombs He Constructed In Recorded Confession On His Phone

AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) - The deceased bombing suspect Mark Conditt left behind a 25 minute recording on his phone describing the seven bombs he constructed, Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said Wednesday evening.

news conference on Austin bombings at Austin PD
news conference on Austin bombings at Austin PD (CBS11)

Chief Manley said Conditt did not mention terrorism or hate,  but described the recording as an "outcry of a very challenged young man... 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," Chief Manley said.

The chief said Conditt talked about problems in his personal life in a what Chief Manley called a video confession found on his phone after his death.

Austin police say Conditt died after he set off an explosive device inside of his vehicle in a suburban Austin hotel parking lot as SWAT teams closed in.

Manley said Conditt described six devices that law enforcement recovered.

He also talked about the seventh device that he used to blow himself up on Wednesday morning.

There was no reason given in the video for why Conditt selected the places he left the packages to explode, the chief said.

Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore said Wednesday's outcome is a "damn good one" for the people of this community.


Officials say the 23-year-old Conditt blew himself up in his vehicle overnight as authorities closed in on him.

SUV of Austin bomber 2

Regarding what happened when police tracked down Conditt, Chief Manley explained officers approached him early Wednesday morning, banging on his car window.

Within seconds, the suspect had detonated a bomb in his car, blasting the officers backward.

Chief Hanley said one officer then fired his weapon at the suspect. He said the county medical examiner has not finalized the cause of death, but that the bomb caused "significant" injuries.

Manley said "harrowing" video showed a "tremendous explosion" took place.

FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs said the video showed the officers' heroism. Combs would not say where the video came from.

An official with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives says the agency is reasonably certain there are no other devices "out in the public," but he urges caution.

ATF Special Agent in Charge Fred Milanowski made the comments at a Wednesday afternoon news conference. FBI agent Chris Combs echoed Milanowski's sentiment, saying "we think we're on top of this, but we just don't know."

On Twitter, Austin police asked the public to "remain vigilant."

After Conditt's death early Wednesday, authorities expressed concern there may be other package bombs circulating in public.

Meantime, investigators were still combing Conditt's home in Pflugerville Wednesday evening.

Investigators slowly walking in lines, looking for evidence in Mark Conditt's back yard in Pflugerville
Investigators slowly walking in lines, looking for evidence in Mark Conditt's back yard in Pflugerville (Jason Allen - CBS11)

It's part of their search for evidence that could allow them to learn more about his activities over the weeks when the bombings occurred.

Pflugerville Police Department spokeswoman Helena Wright says it is not clear how late much longer investigators will be at the house.

She says that as long as they are there, the surrounding neighborhood will remain evacuated up to a four-block radius from the house.

Pflugerville Police Chief Jessica Robledo had said earlier Wednesday that the evacuation was ordered out of "an abundance of caution."

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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