Texas serial bombing victims appear not to be linked: authorities

AUSTIN, Texas, April 9 (Reuters) - The victims of the Austin serial bombing attacks that killed two people last month do not appear to have been linked, a U.S. attorney said on Monday, adding that the bomber, who killed himself as police closed in, likely acted alone.

Bomber Mark Conditt, 23, an unemployed man from the Austin suburb of Pflugerville, died on March 21 after detonating a explosive device as police ran toward his vehicle in an Austin suburb.

"The investigation into motive and intent is ongoing. I have not seen information so far to believe that there is a common link between the victims," John Bash, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Texas, told a news conference.

Two African-American males were killed in the attacks that injured five people, including a Hispanic woman and two white men.

In a video confession found on his cellphone, Conditt detailed how he made seven bombs. Five exploded, one was recovered before it went off and a seventh he detonated that killed him.

At this point, authorities do not intend to release the confession, voicing worry it could inspire others.

"The subject in the audio confessions says a number of statements that concern us. We just don’t want that to live forever on the internet,” said Fred Milanowski, special agent in charge of Houston Field Division for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

Authorities on Monday also dropped a federal charge against the deceased bomber, involving receiving, possessing and transferring a destructive device, according to a criminal complaint.

"Multiple other individuals were investigated for potential links to these destructive devices. None of those persons were deemed likely to be involved," a redacted arrest affidavit released on Monday said.

Two roommates of Conditt were questioned and released from custody.

Conditt's bombs, which injured five people in total, primarily targeted Austin. Two were shipped as FedEx parcels, which helped investigators unmask the bomber's identity.

The affidavit said the explosive devices shared commonalities, such as the delivery method, contents and the manner of detonation.

"All six explosive devices used shrapnel," the affidavit from ATF Special Agent Reynaldo Alatorre Jr. said.

(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz in Austin, Texas; Editing by Peter Cooney)