Police officials in Austin, Texas, on Wednesday, identified the man suspected of planting package bombs this month that killed two people and injured four others as 23-year-old Mark Anthony Conditt.
According to the authorities, when approached by the police, Conditt detonated a bomb, thus killing himself in a motel parking lot as a SWAT team approached his SUV.
Conditt’s family reacted to the news and expressed shock saying they had no idea as to what motivated him.
His uncle, Mike Courtney, told Manila Bulletin, the Philippines’ largest broadsheet newspaper: “I mean this is coming from nowhere. We just don’t know what. I don’t know how many ways to say it but everyone is caught off guard by this so, yeah I don’t know. I don’t know. I mean I don’t know.”
He described his nephew as a smart, intelligent and kind “computer geek.”
“I don’t know what happened, what snapped. I have no idea. Everybody wants and we want answers,” he said.
Conditt reportedly resided in Pflugerville, a suburb just northeast of Austin, not far from the site of the first of the four package bombings. However, it is still unclear whether or not Conditt knew any of his victims. His motive also remains unclear as of now.
His family released a statement saying the news came as a shock to them and that they were “devastated and broken” knowing about his involvement.
In the statement they released, Conditt’s family expressed grief and shock. They also offered their “prayers for those families who have lost loved ones … and for the soul of our Mark.”
They said they had “no idea of the darkness that Mark must have been in.”
Reports stated Conditt’s Google search history indicated he planned on bombing more areas in the Texas capital before his death. Police said they are unaware of his whereabouts in the last 24 hours prior to his death, meaning there could potentially be more bombs in and around Austin.
One of his neighbors, Jeff Reeb, whose grandson grew up playing with Conditt said: “I know this is a cliché but I just can’t imagine that.”
Conditt was the oldest of four children, all of them were homeschooled. Several reports described him as quiet and introverted.
Jeremiah Jensen, a friend of Conditt also expressed his shock at the news and said he had no idea what caused Conditt to make those bombs.
“When I met Mark, he was really rough around the edges. He was a very assertive person and would end up being kind of dominant and intimidating in conversation. A lot of people didn’t understand him and where he was coming from. He really just wanted to tell the truth. What I remember about him he would push back on you if you said something without thinking about it. He loved to think and argue and turn things over and figure out what was really going on,” Jensen said.