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Austin bombing suspect kills self with explosive as police close in: report

The man suspected of being the serial bomber who killed two and terrorized Austin, Texas, for three harrowing weeks was killed in a dramatic confrontation with police overnight Wednesday, according to authorities.

The suspect, identified by police early Wednesday as a 24-year old male, was killed in the motel he was traced to by authorities using surveillance footage from a Federal Express drop-off store and cell phone triangulation technology, according to The Austin American-Statesman.

There were conflicting reports, and it was not immediately clear if he was shot by police or blew himself up with one of his bombs.

The incident appears to have brought to an end a terrifying sequence that began March 2, when Anthony Steven HOuse, 39, was killed when a package he discovered on his porch in northeast Austin exploded.

Ten days later, a second “porch bomb” exploded nearby, killing 17-year-old Draylen Mason and injuring his mother. A third bomb went off on March 12, injuring Esperanza Herrera, 75, and police quickly determined all three were connected.

As the Texas capital’s residents sought answers, developments took a frightening turn on March 18, when two men were injured by a bomb that was set off by a sophisticated “trip wire,” made of fishing string. That bomb, along with the accelerated pattern of attacks, spurred fears authorities were hunting a highly trained maniac.

Just after midnight on On March 19, a packaged destined for Austin exploded at a FedEx delivery facility in Schertz, some 65 miles south of Austin. That package had been sent from ASustin, and police were able to track it to the drop-off store where they obtained surveillance video.

Late Tuesday night an explosion in Austin caused by an “incendiary device” was said to be unrelated to previous bombings in Texas that have killed two people and severely wounded four others since March 2, police and federal authorities said.

Also Tuesday, the FBI said a suspicious package reported at a FedEx distribution center near the Austin airport “contained an explosive device.” The two packages were reportedly sent from a mail delivery office in Sunset Valley, an Austin suburb south of downtown.

Someone dropped off a box containing an “artillery simulator” at an Austin Goodwill location that detonated, injuring an employee and triggering a bomb scare.

Austin assistance police Chief Ely Reyes says there was “no reason to believe” the Tuesday blast was a copycat incident.

Tuesday’s victim was a Goodwill Industries employee who was “being treated for non-life-threatening injuries,” the Austin branch of the nonprofit tweeted. The man, in his 30s, was looking in a donation bin at the time of the blast, Austin’s KVUE-TV reported.

According to a Goodwill employee speaking to the outlet, the victim was talking with someone about safety when the suspicious item was found. While trying to dispose of it, an employee handled one of the artillery simulators and it went off, the Austin American-Statesman reported.

The individual suffered injuries that were “potentially serious, not expected to be life-threatening,” the county’s EMS tweeted. Paramedics rushed him to a hospital. The victim was treated and released from care, a spokesperson from St. David’s South Austin Medical Center told the American-Statesman.

The Houston division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, along with FBI San Antonio said they were working with Austin police in the investigation.

At least five other explosions have rocked the Austin and San Antonio areas in recent weeks.

Authorities said the two packages were connected to four earlier explosions that have occurred in the state throughout March.

Fox News’ Maggie Kerkman and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Bradford Betz is an editor for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @bradford_betz.

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