AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM/CNN) – Police have identified the Austin bombing suspect as Mark Anthony Conditt, according to a source with direct involvement in the investigation.
Little additional information about the man has been released, but police have previously said he was a 23-year-old white man capable of making sophisticated explosive devices.
Police and FBI agents located the Conditt’s car at a hotel in Round Rock on Tuesday night. Authorities started to pursue the vehicle, but the suspect appeared to discover that he was being followed. He pulled over to the side of the highway.
As officers approached the vehicle, the suspect detonated a bomb inside his car — taking his own life in the process.
A Republican congressman from Texas says the Austin bombing suspect bought a lot of his bomb-making equipment from a Home Depot store in his hometown.
U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, a Republican from Austin who is chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, told KXAN-TV authorities retraced the suspect’s steps after he was caught on surveillance video at an Austin-area FedEx store.
McCaul says investigators obtained the suspect’s license plate number and were able to identify him, then track what he purchased at a Home Depot.
Authorities have not released the suspect’s name, but a law enforcement official who was briefed on the investigation identified him as Mark Anthony Conditt.
Authorities say Conditt blew himself up overnight as a SWAT team approached his SUV in a motel parking lot outside of Austin.
According to CBS News, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said investigators had known who the suspect was for about 24 hours before making contact and had in fact been following him. Abbott said witnesses spotted a person entering a FedEx store wearing a “crazy” disguise, including a blond wig and gloves, and called police.
Here’s what we know about the man accused of the deadly explosions:
Authorities soon learned where Conditt was from:
Conditt was a resident of Pflugerville about 17 miles northeast of Austin and just 7 miles from Round Rock, where he blew up his truck.
After Conditt’s name was released as the bomber, the mayor of Pflugerville told reporters that the suspect lived only two blocks away from him in a part of the city known as Old Town and that police had also had surveillance the home overnight Tuesday. Conditt reportedly lived at the house, that was just a few miles from his parents’ home, with roommates.
He attended a local college:
Conditt attended Austin Community College from 2010 to 2012 but did not graduate, according to school records. A spokeswoman for the district, Jessica Vess, spoke with CBS 11 News and confirmed Conditt’s age and that he hadn’t attended classes on the campus since 2012.
Vess also said the school was working with Austin police to “provide any information they need.”
Conditt declared his major was Business Administration and took general education courses at ACC Northridge and Round Rock Campuses.
When he left the college in 2012 he was in “good academic standing.”
The college released a copy of Conditt’s student photo ID.
While Gov. Abbott said Conditt was apparently unemployed, shortly after the suspect detonated a bomb in his vehicle, sources told CBS 11’s J.D. Miles that Conditt had previously worked at Crux Manufacturing — a company in Pflugerville.
His motive is still unknown:
Police said Conditt is responsible for five bombings, in Austin and Schertz, that killed two people and injured four others — but they are still investigating why he carried them out.
How did police find him?
In the past 24 to 36 hours, authorities received information that led them to a person of interest, who later became a suspect.
Austin Mayor Steve Adler confirmed that police obtained surveillance images showing Conditt at a FedEx store in Austin.
They later identified his car and spotted it Wednesday night at a hotel in Round Rock.
As officers waited for tactical units to arrive on the scene, Conditt began to drive away and quickly stopped on the side of the road.
It was then that SWAT officers approached the vehicle and the man detonated a bomb inside his car, Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said.
Conditt died inside the vehicle.
Did he act alone?
It’s unclear if he had any accomplices. Conditt was alone when he drove away from the hotel in Round Rock and when he detonated a device in his car.
Here in North Texas, a former ATF agent revealed to the CBS 11 I-Team exactly who he thinks could be behind the Texas terror.
“You start off with a really rough sketch and as the days go on and on it starts to get clearer and clearer and you’ll see that person emerge,” retired AFT agent Hector Tarango said of the investigation unfolding in the state’s capitol.
Tarango spent more than 25 years as an investigator and supervisor before retiring in 2016. He’s now CEO of Vindico, a firm that specializes in security solutions and private investigations.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The-CNN-Wire™ contributed to this report & © 2018 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.)