AUSTIN, TX (CBS News) – The suspect in the spate of bombings in Austin – which killed two people and injured at least six — is dead, police said.
Austin Police Chief Brian Manley told reporters early Wednesday the 24-year-old male detonated a device in his vehicle after being pursued by police.
“The suspect is deceased, and has significant injuries from a blast that occurred from detonating a bomb inside his vehicle,” Manley said. “We cannot name this suspect at this time, because he has not been positively identified yet by the medical examiner.”
Manley said authorities don’t know why the man, who was white, engaged in the bombings.
Once investigators were satisfied they’d determined who the bomber was, surveillance teams began looking for him and spotted a vehicle he was known to be driving at a hotel in the Austin suburb of Round Rock, Manley said.
While police and federal agents were in position around the hotel, the suspect started driving away. Law enforcement followed. The vehicle then stopped on the side of a road.
At that point, Manley continued, as an Austin police SWAT team closed in, the suspect fired at them, then detonated a device in vehicle.
One officer was hurt, Manley said.
Earlier, CBS Austin affiliate KEYE-TV said it had obtained photos of the person investigators believe dropped off two suspicious packages Sunday. Investigators said he was a person of interest and that the two packages were connected to the string of explosions in the Texas capital.
The station said sources told it the U.S. Marshal’s Lone Star Fugitive Task Force – Austin Division – gathered the video and helped the lead agencies in the investigation get an idea where the person of interest might have been.
KEYE sources said the pictures were from surveillance video taken inside a South Austin FedEx Office store, where the person shipped the two packages. One of the two packages exploded on a conveyor belt at a FedEx sorting facility outside San Antonio, in Schertz. The second package was intercepted at a facility near the Austin airport.
The second suspicious package was being treated as if it could be a bomb, according to Congressman Lloyd Doggett’s office. Both packages originated from the same location.
The photos show the person, possibly wearing a wig and gloves, carrying two packages. According to time stamps on the pictures, the person was in the store around 7:30 Sunday evening.
Authorities believe the same person or persons were connected to the two packages that surfaced Tuesday and were also responsible for the four other explosions that began on March 2nd that killed two people and injured six.
A sixth unrelated explosion was reported Tuesday evening in South Austin, but Austin Police said it was from military memorabilia left at a Goodwill drop box.
President Trump tweeted about the developments Wednesday.
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