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FBI closes Austin bomber probe, finds no ‘recognized ideology’ behind attacks

A state trooper secures the home of the Austin bombing suspect Mark Conditt in Pflugerville, Texas on Wednesday, March 21, 2018. (Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman/TNS)

The FBI found no evidence that Austin bomber Mark Conditt had any accomplices or was motivated by any “recognized ideology” when he carried out a series of bombing attacks last year, according to a motion filed by the U.S. attorney’s office last week.

“In the course of its investigation, the government found no evidence of communications or links between Conditt and any international terror groups or domestic hate groups,” according to the document. “The government likewise found no evidence that any recognized ideology had motivated Conditt. The government has no basis to believe that any additional charges will be sought.”

The FBI closed its investigation into Conditt last week.

Investigators say that Conditt, 23, constructed package bombs that killed two people and injured five others. During the three weeks of bombings in March, more than 300 law enforcement officers from across the country worked on the investigation. On March 21, authorities cornered him on an Interstate 35 frontage road in Round Rock. Conditt detonated a bomb inside his car and killed himself as police closed in on him.

The motion that investigators filed last week is a request to keep some search warrants in the case sealed from public view while allowing one search warrant to be unsealed.

The unsealed search warrant is a request for information that might show whether anyone had used Yahoo Search and Yahoo Maps to search the addresses where three of the bombs detonated.

The first bomb detonated on March 2, killing 39-year-old Anthony House at the doorstep of his home. Ten days later, another package bomb killed 17-year-old Draylen Mason and injured his mother, and within hours, a third explosion severely injured 75-year-old Esperanza “Hope” Herrera. Later that month, another bomb was set off in Southwest Austin by a trip wire and injured two men.

The warrant asks for search data going back 30 days before each attack.

“There is probable cause that individuals who searched for these specific addresses during this time period will help law enforcement to identify persons who may have knowledge about the bombings,” says the search warrant, which was filed March 14.

It is unknown what information investigators obtained through the warrants. The unsealed documents do not say whether Conditt searched for the victims’ addresses online before targeting them.

The sealed search warrants were for companies Google and Microsoft and for Conditt’s home address, court records show.


© 2019 Austin American-Statesman, Texas

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