Police: Austin ‘Serial Bomber’ Left Video Confession — No Words of Hate, Terrorism

AP Photo: Eric Gay

Austin police reported that “serial bomber” Mark Conditt left a video “confession” on the cell phone found in his car after he killed himself by detonating his seventh bomb Wednesday morning. Conditt details the seven bombs he built, including the one that ended his own life. The message did not include any statements about terrorism or hate, police said.

Austin Interim Police Chief Brian Manley told reporters in a press conference Wednesday evening, “We have, at this point, located a recording that the suspect in this incident made. It is about a 25-minute recording where he talks about what he has done. I would classify this as a confession.”

Chief Manley said investigators found the recording on a cell phone Conditt had in his possession in his car when he killed himself Wednesday morning.

“The suspect described the six bombs that constructed with a level of specificity that he identified the differences among those six bombs,” the chief stated. Manley explained there were similarities between the six bombs and differences. “On his recording, he identified what those differences were.”

The chief explained that investigators are still attempting to determine the motive behind Conditt’s bombing campaign. “What I can tell you, having listened to that recording — he does not at all mention anything about terrorism. Nor does he mention anything about hate.”

“But instead,” Manley continued, “It is the outcry of a very challenged young man talking about challenges in his personal life that led him to this point.”

The chief continued and explained that Conditt described in detail the six devices he constructed. All six of those have been accounted for, Manley explained.

“He also described a seventh device,” he said. “That being the one he had on him this morning that he detonated as our officers approached.”

In part of the video, Chief Manley said that Conditt indicated that he was aware that police were getting very close to him. He said Conditt made the video sometime Tuesday evening.

Chief Manley asked the community to remain vigilent. “But I also want to let the community know that he described seven explosive devices and we have identified and are no longer in plight of those seven devices.”

Texas Governor Greg Abbott praised Chief Manley for the work he and his officers performed this month. The governor discussed the use of the phrase “finest” that people often use in describing police officers such as people saying “Austin’s finest” when describing the city’s police officers.

“This is demonstrative of why people say that,” Abbott stated emphatically. “We saw this situation where Austin’s finest, Austin’s police officers galvanized and worked tirelessly together over the past few weeks to solve one of the most heinous crimes that ever existed in Austin, Texas, and in the process [they were] literally saving lives.”

The governor said they carried out their duty in a way that achieved maximum response.

The governor also praised the “overwhelming support” provided by the federal government.

“In my 12 years as attorney general and three years as governor, I have not seen a better job than what we have seen from this police chief and from the Austin police force.”

Abbott said they took every step they could to locate and apprehend, if possible, the “treacherous, evil criminal who committed these acts.”

The governor addressed the victims of the bombing and said we should never forget them. He also said that we will never know how many other victims there might have been if not for the work of Manley and all of the law enforcement officials involved in the case.

The governor looked directly at Chief Manley and said, “Thank you for a job well done.”

“Today,” Abbott concluded, “we proudly back the blue in Austin, Texas.”