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Austin

A judge has dismissed a complaint against confessed Austin bomber Mark Conditt now that his body has been identified and released to his family, U.S. Attorney John Bash said today. The investigation into a motive is ongoing, he added.

In the days after the Austin bombings, Jesus Valles couldn’t stop thoughts from buzzing around like bees in his head. He made sense of his feelings the best way he knew how: He sat down at his computer and began to write a public Facebook post about Austin.

“Austin is an exhausting place where racism smiles at you and does yoga and is a kind teacher and is such a good actor and is just trying to help you and just wants to know why you’re so upset,” Valles wrote.

Interim Austin Police Chief Brian Manley called the Austin serial bomber a "domestic terrorist" at a panel hosted by KUT this morning. 

Despite previous calls from the community after a string of bombings killed 39-year-old Stephan House and 17-year-old Draylen Mason, Manley hadn't used the term. At the panel, he said he’s now “very comfortable” calling Mark Conditt a terrorist.

Williamson County has ruled the death of serial bomber Mark Conditt a suicide. 

Conditt died after detonating an explosive device as police closed in on him in Round Rock early Wednesday. He is believed to be responsible for a series of bombings in Austin this month that killed Stephan House and Draylen Mason and seriously injured four others. 

The 23-year-old serial bomber who killed two people, seriously wounded four and put Austin on edge showed “no remorse” in a confessional video that has still not been made public, according to U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin.

Over the past three weeks, Austin watched in horror as a methodical madman detonated one shrapnel bomb after another in this seeming laid-back oasis. An unemployed 23-year-old loner killed two people and injured four others, before blowing himself up early the morning of March 21 as police closed in.

As an army of federal investigators packed up and left town, the city's quirky civic slogan, "Keep Austin Weird," took a blow.

How To Help Victims Of The Austin Bombings

Mar 23, 2018

Families are trying to recover after a series of bombings this month left two Austin residents dead and four others injured. While officials continue investigating the case, those directly affected by the bombings are still healing.

When Natalie Rogers defines the word "terrorist," she starts with the root.

“It is someone who is trying to invoke terror,” said Rogers, a 36-year-old software engineer in Austin.

To some residents, the serial bomber successfully did that.

Anthony Stephan House, who was killed March 2 in the first of a series of bombings in Austin, was a father and a graduate of Texas State University. According to high school friends, he was quiet, humble and self-assured, even at a young age.

“It was always a no-small-talk-type conversation with him,” said high school friend Kevin Cotton, who now lives in Fort Worth. “I liked that about him.”

Draylen Mason was known as an accomplished musician who was heading to college, but he could also make you laugh before he even opened his mouth.

"You just expect to laugh with him. That boy was hilarious," said Sharrel Prince, who has known him since pre-K. "What made Draylen funny is that he says the things everyone else is scared to say."

Interim Austin Police Chief Brian Manley says Austin bombing suspect Mark Conditt recorded a 25-minute video confession hours before his death early this morning.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT News

Authorities say the suspected Austin bomber blew himself up overnight in his vehicle as a SWAT team closed in on him. Investigators have identified him as Mark Anthony Conditt.

Updated at 4:40 p.m. ET

The suspected serial bomber who died north of Austin, Texas, on Wednesday morning was Mark Anthony Conditt, a 23-year-old who grew up in the area, public records show. Conditt died from an explosion that police say he triggered when a SWAT team was closing in on him.

Draylen Mason was known as an accomplished musician who was heading to college, but he could also make you laugh before he even opened his mouth.

"You just expect to laugh with him. That boy was hilarious," said Sharrel Prince, who has known him since pre-K. "What made Draylen funny is that he says the things everyone else is scared to say."

Technicians have removed bomb components and homemade explosives from inside the Pflugerville home of an Austin bombing suspect who died early this morning, officials said. 

ATF Special Agent in Charge Fred Milanowski said the bombmaker had a "signature style" and that components in the house were similar to components found in the devices that exploded this month in Austin.

One of the rooms had a considerable amount of bomb-making material, he said.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

After initially reporting a package explosion in South Austin on Tuesday evening, authorities later said the incident involved an incendiary device rather than a bomb and may not be connected to previous explosions in the Austin area since early March.

Two package bombs found at two separate FedEx facilities in Texas today are connected to a string of bombings in Austin, local and federal officials say. 

One of the packages exploded early this morning at a FedEx distribution center in the San Antonio suburb of Schertz. The other package was found at a facility near the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. It is suspected that they may have been shipped from a FedEx Office store in Sunset Valley.

Austin Police say a bombing that injured two people in Southwest Austin last night is similar to three package bombings in Austin this month. Interim Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said authorities are still conducting a sweep of the Travis Country neighborhood, though police are allowing reentry into the neighborhood from certain areas.

Interim Austin Police Chief Brian Manley says an explosion that injured two white men in their 20s in the Travis Country neighborhood in Southwest Austin was caused by a bomb. Authorities are "operating under the belief" that the explosion is connected  to three package bomb explosions in Austin this month, Manley said.

Updated at 4:30 a.m. ET on Monday:

Authorities in Austin, Texas, responded to an explosion in the southwest part of the city late Sunday, with the city's emergency medical service tweeting that it caused two serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

Authorities have increased the reward to $100,000 for information leading to an arrest in a string of package bombings in Austin.

That's in addition to the $15,000 reward offered by Gov. Greg Abbott's office, interim Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said at a news conference today.

"We will leave no stone unturned," interim Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said today in response to three package explosions in Austin over the past 10 days. 

Amazon

Amazon's future second headquarters offers a potential bounty of benefits for the winner, and Dallas and Austin are the only two locations in Texas that remain in the race.

Tropical Storm Harvey has brought the mighty Texas oil refining industry to its knees, at least temporarily, and Texas drivers are just starting to feel the pain.

5:05 p.m. President Trump has left Austin after meeting with state officials at the Texas Department of Public Safety.  

4:18 p.m. Trump again praised state relief efforts following Tropical Storm Harvey, according to pool reports. The president said the recovery is going to be long term, but that it would be a "costly proposition." 

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Late Sunday night, 10 days before classes were scheduled to start, workers at the University of Texas at Austin began removing three Confederate statues from a prominent grass mall on campus. 

On a Sunday in late April, Pastor Clarence Jones asked his congregation to join him.

"Oh magnify the Lord with me and let us exalt his name together. Congregation?" he said, his voice booming from the front of the church. Roughly 40 congregants seated in the pews responded: "I saw the Lord and he heard me ..."

Officers arrested demonstrators who staged an all-day sit-in Monday to protest legislation banning so-called "sanctuary" jurisdictions.

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To live “comfortably” in Dallas these days, you’ll need $57,984 per year, according to a report published this week by Go Banking Rates, a financial website.

From Texas Standard:

On Monday, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions criticized so-called "sanctuary cities" and threatened cuts in federal funding if local governments do not cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) requests to detain people in their jails who may be undocumented. In Austin, both the city and county government have resisted some federal hold requests, and Mayor Steve Adler says he’s looking for clarification as to the federal government’s intentions.

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