“Austin bomber is dead”

In its 5:30 a.m. update this morning, the Austin American Statesman reports what we can only hope is the end of the bombings that have terrified the city since March 2. As law enforcement closed in on the suspect, the bomber blew himself up:

The suspect in a string of bombings in Austin is dead, interim Austin Police Chief Brian Manley confirmed early Wednesday.

The name of the suspect, described only as a 24-year-old white man, has not been released, pending notification of his family, Manley said.

Although police are still investigating the possibility of accomplices, he said, “we believe this individual is responsible for all of the incidents in Austin.”

Manley urged the community to remain vigilant for possible other explosives, adding that “we do not know where (the suspect) has been in the past 24 hours.”

Police have not identified a motive for the string of bombings, Manley said.

Although we don’t know if there are unexploded packages in the mix, this seems to me to put all the known facts and open questions concisely into five sentences. Governor Abbot put it this way: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted, “BIG NEWS. The Austin Bomber is dead,” before adding that “more work needs to be done to ensure no more bombs had been sent before he died.” “The investigation continues to learn more information,” Abbott wrote. “Congratulations to the combined law enforcement effort.” Indeed, I would only add our gratitude for the contributions of local citizens and the efforts of law enforcement in bringing the case to its apparent conclusion this morning.

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