Austin bombing suspect blows himself up as police close in

Austin bombing suspect blows himself up as police close in
The Austin bombing suspect blew himself up early Wednesday morning, according to Austin Police Chief Brian Manley. Tthe motive for the bombings remains unclear, police said. (Image source: CNN video screenshot)

The suspect in a series of Texas bombings is dead, according to police, after he detonated an explosive inside his vehicle early Wednesday when officials closed in on him.

Four package bombs in Austin over the span of three weeks left two dead and four others injured. A fifth explosion occurred at a FedEx facility near San Antonio on Tuesday, when a package, destined for Austin, detonated.

What happened?

Authorities tracked the suspect, a 24-year-old white male, to a roadside motel in the Austin suburb of Round Rock, Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said at a news conference.

While police waited for a tactical unit to arrive and move in, the suspect fled the hotel in his vehicle. Police followed the suspect until he ran his car into a ditch alongside Interstate 35.

The SWAT team started to approach, and that’s when he detonated the device inside his car and blew himself up, according to police.

One SWAT officer suffered minor injuries when he was knocked back by the blast. Another officer fired at the suspect.

Manley said the name of the suspect wouldn’t be released until the medical examiner has identified him and notified the next of kin.

What led the police to the suspect?

Manley said police received information that led them to the suspect as a person of interest.

An undetonated package that was discovered at a FedEx facility near the Austin airport on Tuesday helped lead police to the suspect, according to The Associated Press.

What was the suspect’s motive?

Manley said the motive for the bombings that started March 2 remains unclear.

The police also aren’t certain whether he was working alone or with others. Police are warning Austin residents to remain on alert until it’s clear there are no other suspects involved.

They also want people to remain vigilant and call police if they receive any unexpected packages.

FBI special agent Chris Combs said his agency would stay in Austin for as long as it takes to ensure there are no other bombs.