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Inside The Story: New details about Austin bomber’s life reveal struggle with faith, sexuality

Before the bombing attacks in Austin, Mark Conditt apparently disassociated himself from his family's religious beliefs and was struggling with his sexual identity.

In the years before he planted bombs around Austin that killed two people and injured four, Mark Conditt had walked away from his religious upbringing and told his family that he no longer believed in God.

Investigators also have learned in the six weeks since the attacks, based on interviews with people who knew him, that Conditt may also have been struggling with his sexuality, potentially adding to tension in his life. Authorities have uncovered evidence that he also was using Grindr, a dating app for gay men.

Officials say it is likely that investigators, nor the public, will ever understand what prompted Conditt to carry out the attacks, despite lingering questions about the mystery. They have ruled out the possibility of a racially motivated hate or links to terrorist groups.

But the new revelations, which have been confirmed by multiple law enforcement sources, highlight the extent to which Conditt was living a complex, sometimes fragmented, life. Those details also remain a focus of the investigation, which officials think will continue until at least mid-summer. Officials say that they still think it is important for them to learn all they can about the bomber, and some experts say more knowledge can help bring closure to a community dramatically impacted by the attacks.

Conditt’s family has declined to comment, and a family spokesman did not return phone calls.

On the day Conditt died from his own bomb, Interim Police Chief Brian Manley called him a “troubled young man” but after facing community backlash referred to Conditt as a “domestic terrorist.”

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