Austin Bomber Left A Confession Video Before He Died
RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
Investigators in Austin, Texas, have new information about the man who terrorized that city for three weeks with homemade bombs. The man's name is Mark Conditt. And in the hours before his death, he recorded a 25-minute video confessing to the bombings. But Austin police Chief Brian Manley says he never revealed his motive.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)
BRIAN MANLEY: Nor does he mention anything about hate. But instead, it is the outcry of a very challenged young man talking about challenges in his personal life that led him to this point.
MARTIN: Let's turn now to Nadia Hamdan of our member station KUT in Austin.
NADIA HAMDAN, BYLINE: Hi.
MARTIN: So while there was this 25-minute statement, there was a lot of information that this man - this is the bomber, Conditt - left out, mainly why. Let's listen to a little bit more from Austin Police Chief Manley.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)
MANLEY: There was no indication of why these specific addresses in those that were delivered to homes or those that were placed in the community or those that were mailed, there was no reason given for why he selected those individuals.
MARTIN: So if we don't know why he did it, what else did we learn from this video? I mean, it was 25 minutes long.
HAMDAN: Right. So it seems as though he's confessed to being behind all seven bombs and six explosions that killed three people, including himself, and injured four others. So just as a recap, those are the three package bombs that were placed on people's doorsteps. There was the fourth bomb that was a tripwire in a neighborhood. Of course, there were the two FedEx facility, one was the explosion at the FedEx facility in Schertz. And then there was the other bomb that was found in a FedEx facility near an airport but did not explode. And then, of course, the seventh was the bomb that exploded in the suspect's car.
So he has confessed to all of those. He goes into the differences and how he created each bomb. So it's quite interesting in that regard that he took the time to do that. But they're saying that he created the video because he did feel that police were closing in on him. So this was his way to provide some level of a confession. But, of course, he has - no motive was given.
MARTIN: I mean, police know so little about this guy. Remind us how they even found him.
HAMDAN: Yeah. So it looks like the explosion that happened in the FedEx facility in Schertz was kind of - what was a little break for law enforcement. That was able to get them to - it led them to a FedEx Office in Sunset Valley, which is an independent city within Austin, where Conditt seemed to have sent the packages. So surveillance video from that FedEx Office was really big for them. On top of that, cellphone technology. But really, I mean, over 500 agents have been here working on this. And ATF says he did have a signature style, which they were able to connect the bombs. So I'm sure there was just plenty that went into it. But yes, it seems like that surveillance video was really that big break.
MARTIN: We heard police yesterday say, yes, you know, this is the guy, But he may have left other bombs, other explosives around the city. I mean, have officials weighed in on this still? I mean, is that just going to be a threat that just exists for the people of Austin?
HAMDAN: Yeah. It seems that - they are saying the seven bombs are accounted for, the ones that he talked about in the video. So they're saying there is some level of relief. But federal officials have promised to not leave the area until they're certain all bomb threats in the city are gone. So I guess that does mean that they are still doing a sweep just to ensure that they have not left any stone unturned as of this moment.
MARTIN: That's Nadia Hamdan of member station KUT in Austin. Nadia, thanks so much for being with us this morning.
HAMDAN: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
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