Investigation complete at Austin bomber's Pflugerville home
Authorities have wrapped up their investigation at the Pflugerville home of suspected Austin bomber, 23-year-old Mark Anthony Conditt, who took his own life Wednesday.
Before they did, they collected all kinds of evidence they say matches components used in the bombs that killed two and injured five others.
After spending more than 24 hours securing and scouring the Pflugerville home of accused Austin bomber Mark Anthony Conditt, the FBI, ATF and police had all the evidence they need.
“They have cleared the house of any completed devices, so now we have the ATF Special Response Team processing the evidence in the house,” said Special Agent Fred Milanowski with the ATF.
Thursday, authorities cleared the property, leaving behind boarded up windows and a tarp covering the back deck, but not much else. The investigation that led them there was complex, but there was a break in the case when Conditt walked into a South Austin FedEx Office wearing a disguise and mailed packages containing explosive devices.
“I think the bomber walked into the FedEx Office… In every case you get a strike of light and that was a big moment where we were able to capture him on surveillance video and also capture his vehicle that had been the source of leads at other bombing sites,” said Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX)
McCaul said investigators also used cellphone information collected at each of the crime scenes to help them locate the bomber.
“He had his cellphone off for quite some time, but once he turned that cellphone on, it pinged, it activated the SWAT team,” said McCaul.
Another piece of the puzzle came from a Home Depot store in Round Rock.
“The Home Depot, they basically scoured all the hardware stores in the Austin area to see that there were large purchases, things that wouldn't necessarily be illegal individually, but put together could make a bomb,” McCaul said.
Authorities said there are some answers they still don't have.
“That's the big unanswered question here is why? What was the motivation?” said McCaul.
Donald Jansky said first responders were searching for a bomb near a hotel he was staying at just days ago. He hoped seeing Conditt's home would help him understand how someone could commit such violent acts.
“It's just disconcerting trying to wrap my mind around it… How a person like that could go on for several days and do what he did and trying to figure it out and I thought a good starting point would be to stop by here in the neighborhood and take a look at it,” Jansky said.
The now empty house on 2nd Street left Jansky with more questions than answers, but it did drive home the fact that authorities say they finally got their guy.
“I'm relieved that it's come to an end,” Jansky said.
One more thing McCaul said is that Conditt had a list of addresses he planned to target. Authorities did sweep those properties for explosives but did not find anything suspicious.