Update: President Donald Trump has tweeted his congratulations to law enforcement and all involved in stopping the bomber.
AUSTIN BOMBING SUSPECT IS DEAD. Great job by law enforcement and all concerned!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 21, 2018
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The Austin serial bomber suspected of delivering six homemade bombs to locations around Austin this month, killing two people, has died after blowing himself up. Less than an hour after CBS Austin released photographs of the suspect at a Fed-X facility, media reported of an officer-involved shooting on I-35 in Round Rock.
Police have identified the dead suspected bomber as a 24-year-old white male, according to the Associated Press.
— CBS Austin (@cbsaustin) March 21, 2018
As CBS Austin reported, police were closing in on the suspect when he killed himself by detonating some sort of explosive device in his car, according to CBS Austin’s source. People in the area reported hearing the explosion, the New York Times reported.
According to KVUE, the FBI and police tracked the bomber to a hotel in the Round Rock area using cell phone technology, security video, store receipts before ‘engaging him’ around 3 am on Wednesday. Then, as officers pursued the suspect a device was detonated, before a volley of gunfire.
CBS Austin reported that police pursued the bomber until he drove his car into a ditch off I-35. As officers approached, the bomber detonated a bomb in his car, killing himself and injuring an officer. CBS added that an 11-year veteran SWAT officer fired on the suspect. He has since been placed on administrative leave.
Austin Police Chief Brian Manley says the incident that led to the suspect’s death will be investigated by the Austin Police Monitor and the Texas Rangers.
The confrontation came just hours after CBS published CCTV showing images from a surveillance video from the FedEx Office store on Brodie Lane in South Austin which helped investigators zero in on the suspect.
According to the Daily Mail, the images show a man – possibly wearing a wig and gloves – delivering two packages around 7.30pm on Sunday. One of the packages subsequently exploded on a conveyor belt at a FedEx sorting facility outside of San Antonio in Schertz.
The other was intercepted at a facility near Austin airport and was later confirmed to contain a bomb.
— ATF HQ (@ATFHQ) March 21, 2018
Authorities believe the same person is connected to the two packages that surfaced Tuesday is also responsible for the four other explosions that began on March 2nd, killing two people and injuring six.
Austin Police Department tweeted that they were working on an officer-involved shooting near the highway, but gave no further details.
— Melanie Barden (@MelanieCBS) March 21, 2018
I-35 is closed while a massive presence of law enforcement – including Austin Police, FBI and ATF investigators – processes the scene, which involved officers firing at the suspect. Several helicopters were seen hovering overhead.
While reports surfaced last night that police had discovered surveillance footage of what could be the bombing suspect, CNN added that police had been tracking the man for between 24-36 hours.
Police warn that, though the bomber is dead, there might be more bombs out there. Police don’t know what the bomber has been up to over the past 24 hours, and have warned the community to be vigilant.
The bomber’s motive is still unclear