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Mark Anthony Conditt Reportedly Identified as Austin Bomber, Blew Himself Up After Police Chase

Neighbors said he was a nice kid from a good family. Police say they ID’d him after he sent two parcel bombs via FedEx. Online, he wrote prophetically about the death penalty.

Mark Anthony Conditt has been identified as the Austin serial bomber, according to law-enforcement officials.

Conditt, of Pflugerville, Texas, blew himself up Wednesday morning after police cornered him in a vehicle after tracking him to a local hotel, police said. Authorities said they were led to Conditt, 23, based on evidence gathered from a FedEx store where he shipped two parcel bombs.

Five bombs have killed two people and injured four across the Texas capital since March 2. Another bomb exploded at a FedEx sorting facility outside San Antonio just after midnight Tuesday. Police said another, undetonated bomb was recovered hours later at another FedEx facility in Austin. Both parcels were sent from Austin to locations in Austin, authorities said.

Police said at a Wednesday morning press conference that they believe Conditt built all of the explosive devices himself.

“We don’t know where this suspect has spent his last 24 hours, and therefore we need to remain vigilant to be sure no other packages have been left throughout the community,” Austin Police Chief Brian Manley told reporters Wednesday.

APD homicide officers and FBI agents were at Conditt’s parents’ home with a white picket fence and an American flag on the porch. An ATF agent said a bomb-sniffing dog didn’t alert to anything in the house. Det. David Fugitt of APD said Conditt’s parents and siblings were inside with a few close friends, and would issue a written statement through APD later in the day.

“They’re going through a very hard time, as you can imagine,” he said.

Conditt’s neighbor Hector Del Valle, 42, told The Daily Beast on Wednesday that he first heard helicopters when he woke up at 6 a.m. to get his kids ready for school.

“There’s a state trooper in my driveway, and they probably have about half a mile blocked off all the way around,” Del Valle, a hairstylist, said over the phone.

“I’m hoping that it's all over,” he added. “It’s crazy to think he lived right down the street. This is a really quiet neighborhood, like one of the safest cities to live in and it’s insane that this guy lived here.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said in a television interview Wednesday that Conditt was living with roommates, who were being questioned by police. Abbott said officials found a “treasure trove” of information at the home. The house is owned by his father, according to the Austin American-Statesman.

Conditt was reportedly wearing a disguise when he walked into the FedEx store to drop of the packages, according to KVUE-TV, but police were still able to gather enough information about his appearance from surveillance footage to identify him, before obtaining a search warrant on his Google search history and locating his home address.

Authorities have not speculated on Conditt’s motive for the serial bomb attacks.

In blog posts from 2012, a Mark Conditt from the suspect’s hometown identified himself as conservative, albeit not politically engaged. He wrote in favor of the death penalty, and against gay marriage and abortion.

Writing in favor of the death penalty for a convicted murderer, Conditt wrote “if he had wanted or wished for death, he would have just shot himself.”

According to a Facebook photo posted by his mother, Danene Conditt, her son graduated from high school in February 2013.

“He’s thinking of taking some time to figure out what he wants to do,” she wrote at the time. “Maybe a mission trip. Thanks to everyone for your support over the years.”

It’s crazy to think he lived right down the street. This is a really quiet neighborhood, like one of the safest cities to live in and it’s insane that this guy lived here.

An unnamed neighbor told the Statesman that Conditt was home-schooled and then went to Austin Community College. A spokesperson for the Austin Community College confirmed to the El Paso Times that Conditt attended the school from 2010 to 2012 but did not graduate.

“I know this is a cliché but I just can’t imagine that,” that neighbor told the newspaper, adding the bomber was a nice kid and came from a great family.

A friend from Conditt's homeschool community told the Statesman that Conditt had been "rough around the edges" in high school.

“He was a very assertive person and would … end up being kind of dominant and intimidating in conversation," the friend, Jeremiah Jensen said. "A lot of people didn’t understand him and where he was coming from."

Jensen said he did not know why Conditt may have placed the bombs, but speculated that he had "succumbed to hatred of some sort," and that Conditt may have been isolated after finishing homeschool.

“It’s just very difficult for a lot of kids to find a way to fit in once they are out in the real world,” Jensen said. “I have a feeling that is what happened with Mark. I don’t remember him ever being sure of what he wanted to do.”

Conditt reportedly worked as a computer-repair technician and then at Crux Semiconductor in Austin as a “purchasing agent/buyer/shipping and receiving,” according to a profile on a job-recruiting website viewed by the Statesman. A woman who answered the door said she couldn’t comment.

A public records search by The Daily Beast found that Conditt had no criminal records in the misdemeanor or felony courts of Travis County, which includes Austin and Pflugerville.

—Additional reporting contributed by Nolan Hicks and Seth Harp in Austin.

Cheat Sheet®

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