The man believed to be responsible for setting off at least six bombs in Austin that killed two people and injured five more killed himself early Wednesday morning after a pursuit by law enforcement. Police began getting information on the 24-year-old suspect, who has yet to be identified before his family could be notified, over the past 24 to 36 hours following a bomb that detonated in a FedEx facility. Another unexploded bomb was later found at a FedEx distribution facility in Austin.
Police traced the suspect’s vehicle to a hotel just north of Austin in Round Rock using cell phone technology, after security footage and receipts from the FedEx facility helped to identify him. A search warrant for his Google search history also apparently revealed searches that were considered suspicious.
A SWAT team surrounded the hotel while waiting for specialized explosive units, however the suspect took off before those personnel could arrive.
The suspect then led SWAT team members on a chase before finally driving his vehicle into a ditch off the side of Interstate 35. SWAT officers approached the vehicle on foot but before they could apprehend the suspect he detonated a bomb from inside of the vehicle. One officer was slightly injured in the confrontation and another fired his gun into the vehicle after the bomb went off, but it is believed that the suspect died in the explosion.
Austin Chief of Police Brian Manley said in a new conference that they still don’t understand what motivated the suspect to do what he did.
Law enforcement officials cautioned that the bomber could have planted other explosives that have not yet detonated. “We still need to remain vigilant,” Chief Manley said. “We do not know where he has been in the past 24 hours.”
He added, “This investigation is still underway, so we cannot say that this was an individual acting on their own.”
President Trump celebrated the death of the bombing suspect early Wednesday morning with his trademark sensitivity.