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Austin bombings: Suspect dead, say US media

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Drew Anthony Smith  Getty Images

Four package bombings have been reported this month in Austin, which has left one person killed and several wounded.

Reports vary on how the suspect died: CBS Austin reports that police were closing in early Wednesday morning and the suspect died in an explosion in a vehicle.

Austin police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation tried to arrest the suspect who detonated a device and shots were fired, KVUE reported.

It was only in the past 36 hours or so that police really got a handle on the possible identity of the suspect, who had foxed them for weeks by changing the nature of his targets and his method of operation. Manley said the suspect was a 24-year-old white man.

A suspect linked with a series of deadly parcel bombs targeting the Texan city of Austin is dead after a major police operation, officials say.

The suspect's name has not been released.

The man police believe is responsible for a string of bombings in Austin and a nearby suburb is now dead after killing himself during a police raid. Great job by law enforcement and all concerned! One of the two packages exploded on a conveyor belt at a FedEx sorting facility outside San Antonio, in Schertz.

Austin mayor Steve Adler told CNN the people of Austin still had to be vigilant because the probe continues and questions remain, such as where the suspect has been for the past 24 hours.

Manley said authorities were able to discern similarities between the bombs.

That explosion led authorities to another suspicious package at the FedEx facility in southeast Austin.

One officer suffered minor injuries when the bomb went off and the other officer fired a single shot. As police waited on tactical units, the vehicle left the hotel.

Before it exploded, the package had been sent from Austin and was addressed to a home in Austin, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton told Austin television station KXAN. A second unexploded bomb was discovered hours later at another FedEx facility near Austin.

Evidence: The company said it provided authorities with "extensive evidence" from its security system on the packages and the person who shipped them.

"That's the one thing we don't have right now, is a motive behind this", Manley said. It was triggered by a almost invisible tripwire, suggesting a "higher level of sophistication" than agents saw in three package bombs previously left on doorsteps, according to Fred Milanowski, the agent in charge of the Houston division of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The White House on Tuesday said it had been monitoring the investigation.

The seemingly zigzag work of an apparent serial bomber may be a sign that whoever is behind the attacks is determined to launch more of them. Also called Unabomber, he had eluded detection as he killed three people and injured 23 in a countrywide bombing campaign from 1978 to 1995. Ten days later, another explosion killed Draylen Mason, a college-bound 17-year-old known for his passion for music. They happened in east Austin areas where most residents are minorities, and some there expressed concern the attacks might have been racially motivated. Esperanza Morena Herrera, 75, was critically injured and remains hospitalized.

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