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How was Mark Anthony Conditt caught? ‘Exotic’ batteries and cell-site analysis

Mark Anthony Conditt, the suspected Austin, Texas, serial bomber, was tracked down early Wednesday morning in part because he used “exotic” batteries in the explosive devices he allegedly made.

Investigators settled on Conditt as a suspect in five bombings in the Austin area after analyzing an unexploded device and sifting through bomb fragments, then finding that all the batteries for the devices came from Asia, according to a story from NBC News.

“These weren’t your store-bought Duracells,” a senior law enforcement officer said of the batteries used in the bombs.

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Conditt, 24, blew himself up early Wednesday as authorities closed in on him. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott warned citizens to be alert because there could be bombs in the area that the suspect either had recently sent or some that were constructed and ready to be sent.

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>>Who is Mark Anthony Conditt, the suspected Austin bomber?

“We don’t know if there are any other bombs out there and if so, how many and where they may be,” Abbott said. “Because this individual, either by mail or by placement or whatever the case may be, may have put other bombs out there.”

Abbott said the cellphone number of the Austin bombing suspect was of interest to law enforcement before he was captured on surveillance video at a FedEx store, The Associated Press reported. The person in the video from the store appears to be wearing a blond wig.

Abbott told reporters Wednesday that authorities used cellphone traffic data to put the suspect at the site of the explosions around Austin. He says the suspect’s phone number drew the attention of investigators. Abbott also said Conditt was believed to have purchased materials that could be made to construct bombs from a Home Depot store.

Not much information about Conditt has been released other than he lived in Pflugerville, Texas, and had attended a local community college. His motive remains a mystery, along with whether he acted alone in the five bombings in the Texas capital and suburban San Antonio that killed two people and wounded four others. 

The Associated Press contributed to this story

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