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APD says bomber left behind video confession

This undated photo from a Facebook posting shows Mark Anthony Conditt. The suspect in the deadly bombings that terrorized Austin blew himself up early Wednesday, March 21, 2018, as authorities closed in on him, bringing a grisly end to a manhunt. (Facebook via AP)

Police recognize the big unanswered question in the Austin bombings investigation is "why?" Wednesday investigators found a 25-minute-long recording on the suspect's phone. In it he talks about the personal challenges that compelled him to start the bombings. Local, state and federal leaders called press conference the evening after the bomber was killed to pull back the curtain on their investigation to this point.

"We are never going to be able to put a rationale behind these acts, but what I can tell you having listened to that recording … he does not at all mention anything about terrorism, nor does he mention anything about hate. Instead it is the outcry of a very challenged young man talking about challenges in his personal life that lead him to this point," said Austin Police Chief Brian Manley.

Police say the suspect described -- in detail -- all of the bombs he built. All seven explosive devices have now been accounted for.

"This can never be called a happy ending, but it's a damn good one for the people of this community and the State of Texas," said Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore.

Moore said her office was prepared to seek the death penalty had the suspect been captured alive. She adds the leadership she saw from Manley is second to none.

"I can also tell you that your police chief made decisions in my presence that were tough to make but he made them well and I believe that he saved lives," Moore said.

"I've seen the video of what happened last night. You literally had Austin police officers running towards a vehicle that had an explosive device in it -- that detonated. That is unbelievable courage. Those are heroes," said San Antonio FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs.

As we honor our heroes, we also remember those lives lost.

"We can never forget the victims," said Governor Greg Abbott. Abbott said there was no telling how many more victims there might have been had the suspect not been stopped by law enforcement.

Police said the cause is still an open investigation and there are numerous details they cannot release to the public just yet. While all of the known bombs have been accounted for, they still encourage the community to be cautious and aware.

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