Interim Austin Police Chief reflects on Austin bomber case

It has been almost two weeks since the Austin bomber killed himself as police approached his vehicle. 

During that time, Interim Austin Police Chief Brian Manley has met with members of the community and his department to reflect on the investigation. 

“That was the most complex case that I have worked in my entire career,” Manley said. 

More than 500 federal agents joined Austin police officers to put together every piece of evidence that could possibly identify a suspect. 

“The partnership amongst the agencies that may not always get along was tremendous. Egos were left at the door, titles were left at the door, agencies were left at the door and everybody worked together to keep Austin safe,” said Manley. 

After the accused bomber killed himself, Interim Austin Police Chief Brian Manley had time to think about the way every little detail was handled by his team. 

“What we have to do, is we have to make ourselves better for it. We have to look at the lessons learned and we have to look at a way to make ourselves more resilient and stronger coming out of this,” Manley said.   

According to Manley, he regrets referring to the bomber as a challenged young man and apologizes that someone on his team said publicly that the first bombing victim may have created and accidentally detonated the device that killed him. 

“Those were comments that, if you have to investigate something, fine, but that's just not something that you put out publicly,” said Manley.  

The interim chief said evidence collected from each explosion is still being analyzed by investigators. 
Technology used to collect data was vital to solving the case and Manley said it also helped having a robot on hand to clear the suspect's home.

“The ability to use technology to render something like that safe so that you don't have to have somebody go to that door and knock that door down, but instead you can have a robot do that for you, that's very important,” Manley said.   

Now, almost two weeks since the suspect killed himself, Manley is focused on the effect it had on his officers and the community he serves. 
“We stretched the ability of this police department and this community and I think that we showed how strong we are as a community and how strong we are as a department, not without traumatic loss to our community, but we got through it,” said Manley. 

The interim chief said there are no additional suspects or persons of interest in the case. However, investigators will conduct interviews if they find it necessary.