Police Evacuate Area Around Austin Bombing Suspect’s Home

REUTERS/Loren Elliott

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Will Racke Immigration and Foreign Policy Reporter
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Texas police ordered Austin bombing suspect Mark Anthony Conditt’s neighbors to leave their homes as federal investigators prepared to deploy an anti-explosives robot to the scene.

FBI agents told local police to evacuate the area late Wednesday morning, according to Pflugerville, Tex., Police Cmdr. Keith Ritchie.

The order to evacuate came after investigators searched Conditt’s home and surrounding area, Ritchie said, according to The Associated Press. It was not immediately clear if the FBI believes Conditt left additional explosive devices in or around his house.

Conditt, thought to be responsible for a string of Austin-area bombings that killed two people and injured three others, killed himself Wednesday morning after fleeing from police. As SWAT officers approached Conditt’s vehicle, he detonated an explosive device, killing himself and injuring a SWAT team member.

Officials have warned Conditt’s death does not mean danger has passed. Austin police urged local residents on Wednesday to remain vigilant for any suspicious packages that may have been sent in recent days.

“We don’t know where this suspect has spent his last 24 hours, and therefore we still need to remain vigilant to ensure that no other packages or devices have been left throughout the community,” Austin Police Chief Brian Manley told reporters.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott told Austin’s KXAN-TV on Wednesday information gathered so far indicates Conditt acted alone, but he cautioned the investigation is ongoing. He also said it remains unclear if the suspect made the bombs at his house or at the motel in Round Rock, Tex., where police tracked him down.

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