Mark Anthony Conditt was named Wednesday as the serial bomber behind the string of detonations that terrorized Texas for three weeks and left two people dead, as officials alerted residents that other explosive devices may still be out there.
The first photo of Conditt, from 2013, emerged Wednesday morning and was authenticated by the Austin American-Statesman. The scene came from the Facebook page of his mom, Danene Conditt, who appeared to be celebrating Mark’s high school graduation.
“I officially graduated Mark from High school on Friday, ” her post told. “1 down, 3 to go. He has 30 hrs of college credit too, but he’s thinking of taking some time to figure out what he wants to do….maybe a mission trip-up. Thanks to everyone for your supporting over the years.”
The 23 -year-old, who federal prosecutors identified as the Austin bomber, can be seen in surveillance photos obtained by Fox News dropping off two suspicious packages on Sunday from inside a South Austin FedEx Office store on Brodie Lane.
One of the two packages explosion on a conveyor belt at a FedEx sorting facility outside of San Antonio in Schertz on Monday, while the second package was intercepted by authorities at a facility near the Austin airport.
Using clues gleaned from the packages and surveillance video that demonstrated Conditt in “disguise, ” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott told “FOX& friends” authorities were able to gather the information that allowed law enforcement to track him down.
Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas ., said Conditt’s “fatal mistake was when he walked into a FedEx office to mail the package.” That journey, McCaul said, let authorities to get surveillance video of him in his SUV, leading to the identification of his license plate and, ultimately, of the bomber himself. Once that was done, officials were able to track his cellphone and where he purchased the bomb-making materials at a Home Depot store.
Federal attorneys had filed a criminal complaint and arrest warrant on Tuesday against Conditt before he explosion the device in his vehicle, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday.
The federal complaint charged Conditt with one count of unlawful possession and transfer of a destructive device, but the complaint affidavit still remains under seal, according to prosecutors.
“Hundreds of federal, nation and local law enforcement officers worked together to identify and locate Conditt. I was awed by their professionalism, collaborative spirit, and indefatigable commitment to protecting the public, ” United States Attorney John F. Bash said in statement. “I send my deepest condolences to the families of Anthony Stephan House and Draylen Mason, and I pray for the recovery of the surviving victims of these monster crimes.”
Conditt was home-schooled and went to Austin Community College, according to neighbors. Authorities in Pflugerville have evacuated residents from the area around 20 miles north of Austin around the home as officials prepare to deploy an anti-explosives robot.
“I know this is a cliche, but I only can’t imagine that, ” a neighbor told the Austin American-Statesman on the condition of anonymity, and whose infants grew up playing with Conditt. Police said earlier Wednesday that the suspect was 24 years old, but Conditt is listed as 23 years old on his driver’s license and other official documents.
He and his father, Pat Conditt, bought a Pflugerville property last year that is now valued at about $69,000, according to property records. Neighbor Jeff Reeb told KVUE that Conditt was from “one of the nicest households you’d want to have, ” and was “extremely surprised’ to find out he was behind the deadly bombings.
“I can tell you is that we’re praying for the family, and I can’t imagine what they’re going through, ” Reeb said. The neighbour who spoke to the Statesman told Mark Conditt had been living in that home, which he built with his father’s help.
Conditt had worked at Crux Semiconductor, a manufacturer “solutions” company, in Austin as a “purchasing Agent/ purchaser/ shipping and receive, ” according to a profile on a undertaking recruiting website, and had previously worked as a computer repair technician, in agreement with the Statesman.
The mayor of Pflugerville said he lived only two blocks away from Conditt in a part of the city known as Old Town.
Mayor Victor Gonzales, who said he didn’t personally know the family, told The Associated Press that police had surveillance on the home overnight Tuesday.
Another neighbor said she was in “disbelief, ” and “couldn’t believe it.”
“I just know he was kinda stand-offish, ” Debbie Alexander said.
Meanwhile, authorities boasted of uncovering a “treasure trove of information” about the dead 23 -year-old — but officials advised other explosives may still be out there, and other collaborators may be on the loose.
“We don’t know where this suspect has spent his past 24 hours, and therefore we still need to remain vigilant to make sure that no other devices have been left out in the community, ” Gonzales told reporters.
Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said communities surrounding Round Rock, where Conditt blew himself up as SWAT policemen closed in, should “remain vigilant” as officials work to put together a timeline for where the suspect has been.
Abbott told “FOX& Friends” the suspect did not destroy his digital footprint, and that there is a “treasure trove of information that should shed light on who he is, what he did, and why he was doing it.”
Abbott said Conditt, “whos not” ex-military, did not post things on social media beforehand that would be “red flags, ” and that he lived with two roommates in Pflugerville.
“Those two roommates have been talking to law enforcement, ” Abbott said, adding they are not suspects at this time.
Austin police said both of Conditt’s roommates were detained and neither of their identities would be released as the individuals “are not under arrest at this time.”
“One roommate was imprisoned, questioned and released. The other is currently being questioned, ” police said in a tweet.
The Texas governor told authorities are now going to spend the next 24 hours trying to determine if anyone else was working with Conditt, and if there are any other bombs remaining.
He afterward said investigators employed cellphone traffic data to set the suspect at the site of the explosions around Austin. He also said Conditt recently bought five signs saying “CAUTION CHILDREN AT PLAY” at a Home Depot. He says he was told a tripwire that injured two men on Sunday in southwest Austin was tied to one of the signs, which would be consistent with what authorities have previously said about how the explosive was rigged.
Conditt didn’t appear to have left much of a road on social media, but in 2012 posts on what appears to be his personal blog he carried opinions about a range of topics, including lesbian marriage.
A blogger who identified himself as Mark Conditt of Pflugerville, made six entries, all in 2012, in which he wrote that he supposes lesbian marriage should be illegal and that sex offender registries should be eliminated, according to a copy of the posts obtained by TMZ.
“You have to really dislike the guy to build him suffer for the rest of their own lives, even when his prison time is up, ” he wrote.
He also described his interests as cycling, tennis and listening to music, according to images of the blog posted by TMZ.
FBI Agent Christopher Combs, head of the agency’s San Antonio office, told authorities have a “long day ahead” as they work to go through “exactly what happened.”
“We are concerned there may be other packages still out there, we need the public to remain vigilant, especially today as we go through the investigation, ” Combs said.
Fred Milanowski, agent in charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms’ Houston Field Division, told reporters that investigators believe Conditt construct all four of the package bombs that have blown up in Austin, but it’s “hard to say” whether he was acting alone.
He added that the bomb that killed Conditt was “a significant explosive device.”
When asked afterwards if Conditt constructed bombs prior to the start of the spree in Austin, Milanowski responded: “We know when he bought some of the components. It’s hard to say whether he was building along the way.”
Austin Mayor Steve Adler thanked law enforcement for their work in bringing down the suspect, but urged residents to continue to report anything that appeared suspicious or out of place.
“There’s got to be an absolute sense of relief as well as gratitude for this army of law enforcement officials that have done, ” he told “FOX& Friends.”
The suspect’s demise on Wednesday went a day after a package exploded as it passed along a conveyor belt at a FedEx shipping center in Schertz , northeast of San Antonio and about 60 miles southwest of Austin. One worker reported ringing in her ears and was treated at the scene.
Later in the morning, police sent a bomb squad to a FedEx facility outside the Austin airport to check on a suspicious package. Federal agencies and police afterward said that package had contained an explosive that was successfully intercepted and that it, too, was tied to the other bombings.
FedEx said in a statement that it was able to provide law enforcement “with key proof leading to the identification of the suspect responsible for the bombing” because of the company’s “advanced security capabilities and the vigilance of our team members.”
“Regarding our contribution to the effort, U.S. Representative Michael McCaul, chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security, was quoted this morning as saying, ‘I hope his biggest mistake was going through FedEx, ‘” FedEx President and Chief Operating Officer David J. Bronczek said in a statement. “We are grateful that none of our FedEx team members have been seriously injured, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of these senseless assaults, as well as to the entire Austin community.”
Two men were injured on Sunday after a bomb exploded in an Austin neighborhood that was triggered by a trip wire, which officials told contained a “higher level of sophistication” than agents watched in three package bombs previously left on doorsteps.
The first was a package bomb that exploded at a northeast Austin home on March 2, killing 39 -year-old Anthony Stephen House. Two more package bomb then exploded farther south on March 12, killing 17-year-old Draylen Mason, wounding his mother and injuring Esperanza Herrera, 75.
Fox News’ Jonathan Hunt, Shira Bush, Ray Bogan, and The Associated Press contributed to this report .
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