The suspected Austin serial bomber died early Wednesday morning, said Brian Manley, interim chief of the Austin Police Department, in a media briefing.
APD and the FBI tracked the suspect’s vehicle to a hotel parking lot in Round Rock, Texas, Manley said at Wednesday morning’s media briefing. Officers waited for tactical units to arrive before engaging with the suspect; however, the suspect then began to drive off, Manley said.
Officers followed the vehicle, and the suspect stopped on I-35, Manley said. When APD SWAT officers began to approach the vehicle, the suspect detonated a bomb, which knocked one of the officers backward, Manley said. Another SWAT officer then fired at the suspect inside the vehicle, Manley said.
A string of five explosions over the past three weeks had been connected to the suspect, beginning with an explosion at a home in East Austin on March 2.
Even though police found the bomber, they still don't know a motive, they say, or whether he worked alone. Police @chief_manley asks people to remain vigilant -- they don't know where he was over the last 24 hours. #austinbombing— Andrea Zelinski (@andreazelinski) March 21, 2018
The UT Police Department released a statement reminding students to remain vigilant because there may be lingering threats. Manley echoed this message during the media briefing, because it is unknown where the suspect spent his last 24 hours or if bombs were placed elsewhere during that time.
Many developments overnight with the bombing situation in our city. A suspect is deceased, but we continue our efforts to make sure there are no lingering threats. @UTAustinPolice Chief Carter says remain vigilant. If you #SeeSomethingSaySomething CALL 9-1-1. More to come...— UT Austin Police (@UTAustinPolice) March 21, 2018
UTPD Chief David Carter, who wrote the statement, additionally said UTPD’s bomb task force, which includes UTPD’s K-9s, will continue to work to keep the campus safe.
“You may still see our bomb-detecting K-9s around as we conduct proactive sweeps,” Carter said in the statement. “Please do not be alarmed. The presence of our officers does not mean an incident has occurred. The task force will remain in place.”
The incidents are still involved in ongoing investigations by APD and its federal partners, Manley said.