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The suspected Austin serial bomber has died after detonating a bomb in his vehicle while attempting to flee from police, officials have said.
Austin Police Department officers and federal agents had surrounded a hotel in Round Rock, on the main IH-35 road north of central Austin, when the suspect tried to escape, chief Brian Manley said.
When approached by Swat officers the 24-year-old white male detonated an explosive device, killing himself and knocking back one officer who suffered minor injuries, he said. A second officer fired toward the car.
But Mr Manley declined to identify the suspect and was unable to say whether he had been acting alone in the bombing spree that has terrorised the city since 2 March.
He urged members of the public to remain vigilant as FBI and ATF officials warned there may still be more bombs that have not yet been found.
“I don’t know what his background is,” Mr Manley said of the suspected bomber. “Hopefully as we continue this investigation we will uncover some facts.”
“We do not understand what motive” the 24-year-old had, he said, and “we don’t know if he was on his way to deliver another bomb” when police caught up to him. He said he believed the man was responsible for “all incidents” in Austin since 2 March.
Both local and federal officials will launch investigations into the circumstances surrounding the suspected bomber’s death.
Mr Manley said that Austin police and federal agents had run down a number of leads in the past week and, in the last 24 or 36 hours, identified a person of interest in the spree. “This person of interest ultimately moved to being a suspect.”
Following a press conference outside the hotel on Wednesday morning, he tweeted: “I can’t thank the men and women of #AustinPD or our Federal partners enough for their tireless work in restoring peace to our community.”
A special agent from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives told reporters that ”we are concerned there may still be other devices out there”. He urged residents to report suspicious bags or packages.
Donald Trump tweeted shortly after the press conference and said: “AUSTIN BOMBING SUSPECT IS DEAD. Great job by law enforcement and all concerned!”