March 21, 2018
“This is an outcry by a very challenged young man.”
Police on Wednesday said they had located a recorded “confession” on a cellphone found in the possession of the Austin, Texas, bomber.
At a news conference Wednesday evening, Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said authorities found the roughly 25-minute recording on a cellphone belonging to Mark Anthony Conditt. In the recording, Conditt described in detail the six bombs that detonated or were discovered this month. The explosions killed two people and injured at least five others.
“I would classify this as a confession,” Manley told reporters.
Conditt, who died in a confrontation with police early Wednesday morning, also described in the recording a seventh bomb, which detonated inside his car as officials approached the vehicle.
The police chief also addressed questions surrounding Conditt’s motive.
“He does not at all mention anything about terrorism, nor does he mention anything about hate,” Manley said. “This is an outcry by a very challenged young man.”
Authorities do not plan to release the recording, which was made Tuesday night, to the public at this time, Manley said.
Conditt was the primary suspect behind six bombing incidents in March ― five in Austin and another at a FedEx center near San Antonio ― that have terrorized the city for weeks.
The bombings began on March 2, with the first three attacks involving packages left at the front of residences. The parcels exploded when the victims handled them. A fourth attack occurred Sunday and injured two men who set off a tripwire on a sidewalk.
On Tuesday, a package exploded at a FedEx sorting facility in Schertz, Texas, near San Antonio, as it was moving along a conveyor belt. Later that day, police responded to another suspicious package found to contain an explosive in a FedEx facility near the Austin airport.
The explosives were an assortment of homemade pipe bombs with batteries and smokeless powder. They were created from materials that can be found in a hardware or sporting goods store, an unnamed law enforcement source told CNN.
Manley on Wednesday said Conditt’s recording did not indicate why the individuals whose homes he targeted were selected.
Law enforcement officials said they filed a federal criminal complaint and arrest warrant for Conditt late Tuesday night before closing in on him at a hotel. The complaint charged him with one count of unlawful possession and transfer of a destructive device and remained sealed as of Wednesday.
Margaret Moore, district attorney for Travis County, in which Austin is located, told reporters that authorities had planned to seek capital murder charges against Conditt if he had been arrested.
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