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Austin bomber left 25-minute ‘confession’ as police closed in

The man suspected of being behind a series of bombings in Texas left a “confession” before he blew himself up, police have said.

Mark Conditt, 23, is thought to have carried out the bombings that began on 2 March, killing two men and injuring several others.

For almost three weeks, residents of Austin lived on edge as hundreds of police and federal agents conducted a massive manhunt for the person behind the bombings.

But on Wednesday, the hunt came to an end and Conditt died after detonating a device in his car.

A 25-minute recording was found on a phone, described by Austin police chief Brain Manley as a “confession”.

It was thought to have been recorded late on Tuesday night, as police closed in on their suspect.

Suspected Texas serial bomber Mark Anthony Conditt
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Suspected Texas serial bomber Mark Anthony Conditt

Mr Manley said that Conditt “does not at all mention anything about terrorism, nor does he mention anything about hate”.

“Instead, it is the outcry of a very challenged young man talking about challenges in his personal life that led him to this point,” he added.

Mr Manley said that Conditt described seven devices on the recording and that police had “accounted for the devices that we have known about”.

The motives for the bombings and how Conditt chose his victims remain unclear, however.

Austin Police chief Brian Manley confirms the Texas serial bombing suspect has died
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Austin Police chief Brian Manley said the Texas serial bombing suspect died

Earlier in the day, police searched a home in the Austin suburb of Pflugerville, where Conditt lived with two roommates.

Fred Milanowski, special agent in charge, said: “I wouldn’t call it a bomb-making factory, but there are definitely components consistent with what we’ve seen in all these other devices.”

Conditt was part of a religious family and was home-schooled, except for a brief spell at a community college, according to the Houston Chronicle.

In a 2012 blog he described himself as “conservative”, arguing against gay marriage, saying homosexuality was “not natural”, slamming the sex offenders’ registry and backing the death penalty.

In a statement released to CNN, Conditt’s family described themselves as “normal in every way”, saying they were not aware of the “darkness” their son “must have been in”.

:: ‘Smart and happy’ – Who was Texas serial bomber Mark Anthony Conditt?

Package bomb murder investigation
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Anthony Stephan House, 39, and Draylen Mason, 17, died

Among Conditt’s victims were two African-American men – Anthony Stephan House, 39, and Draylen Mason, 17.

Mr House died after a device exploded at his home in Austin in the first attack on 2 March.

Mr Mason was killed and his mother critically injured in a blast on 13 March by a package left on their doorstep.

Hours later, a 75-year-old Hispanic woman was also critically injured after another package exploded in Austin.

On Sunday, two men, aged 22 and 23, were seriously hurt in an explosion involving a tripwire device.

Members of Austin Police Department block off part of Republic of Texas Boulevard following an explosion in Austin, Texas, U.S., March 19, 2018
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Police at the scene of the tripwire device which injured two young men

In the early hours of Tuesday, a FedEx worker was hurt after a package bound for Austin containing nails and shrapnel blew up at a distribution centre in the San Antonio town of Schertz.

Later that day, another explosive package was intercepted before going off at a FedEx facility outside Austin airport.

A sixth explosion in Texas on Tuesday night was not linked to the previous incidents.

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