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As Police Move In, Austin Bombing Suspect Kills Himself

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We are following breaking news this morning from Round Rock, Texas. This is where police report that the person believed to have carried out a series of bombings targeting the city of Austin is dead. Here's Austin Police Chief Brian Manley speaking earlier at this press conference.

(SOUNDBITE OF PRESS CONFERENCE)

BRIAN MANLEY: As members of the Austin Police Department SWAT team approached the vehicle, the suspect detonated a bomb inside the vehicle, knocking one of our SWAT officers back. And one of our SWAT officers fired at the suspect as well. The suspect is deceased and has significant injuries from a blast that occurred from detonating a bomb inside his vehicle.

MARTIN: Joining us now from the scene of that press conference is reporter Audrey McGlinchy of our member station KUT in Austin. Audrey, you were there listening to authorities recount how this suspect was killed. What more can you tell us? I mean, how did they track him down?

AUDREY MCGLINCHY, BYLINE: They're not, you know, revealing sort of what leads led to their standoff with this person in a hotel off the highway here just north of the city. But they are saying, you know, they approached this person in a vehicle in this hotel, and like you heard from the chief there, that this suspect detonated a bomb. And SWAT also fired. It's unclear what - which of those killed the suspect, but the suspect is now dead.

MARTIN: Do we know anything about this person?

MCGLINCHY: Yes. So we know that the suspect was 24-year-old white male. Police are not releasing his name yet because they've said they're waiting for the medical examiner to positively ID and to inform the next of kin.

MARTIN: So it's still clearly very early, but did police suggest that they know something about a motive here?

MCGLINCHY: They said that they don't know a motive at this time. They don't yet understand what, you know, motivated this person to set off at least five bombs here in the city, killing two people over the course of, you know, two, two and a half weeks. And they said this is an ongoing investigation. So they will be, you know, continuing to search for a motive to understand what...

MARTIN: We've been speaking with Audrey McGlinchy of our member station KUT in Austin. She was giving us the latest information. Unfortunately, her line dropped out, but we've been talking this morning about the breaking news out of Austin, Texas. Authorities there saying that, in a police standoff, the suspect in a string of bombings has been killed. We know that this suspect was a 24-year-old white male. So far, authorities say they do not understand a motive. I think we've got Audrey McGlinchy. back.

MCGLINCHY: Yes.

MARTIN: So, Audrey, we know several bombs exploded in Austin. Two of the bombs yesterday were found at FedEx sites just outside San Antonio. So clearly, I mean, is this over, or is there a sense that there could be other bombs out there?

MCGLINCHY: Well, police have said they don't - they cannot confirm the whereabouts of the suspect for the past 24 hours. So they are telling residents to still be aware of their surroundings and to report anything that looks suspicious because there could be additional bombs placed throughout the city.

MARTIN: So the city of Austin not yet able to breathe a sigh of relief as this investigation still moves forward, still lots of unanswered questions. We will have the latest throughout the morning and, of course, updates on npr.org. Audrey McGlinchy reporting from Round Rock, Texas. Thanks so much, Audrey.

MCGLINCHY: Thanks, Rachel. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.