OKC Thunder co-owner Aubrey McClendon "tapped the brakes" several times before his SUV crashed into a bridge ... but cops say they aren't clear if that means he WASN'T trying to kill himself.
56-year-old McClendon died in the March 2nd accident -- after hitting an Oklahoma City bridge at such a high rate of speed, his SUV exploded in flames almost immediately.
In a news conference in OKC moments ago, officials say McClendon's car was going 88 mph 5 seconds before impact ... and 78 mph at the moment of the crash.
Cops say McClendon tapped his brakes several times during the final 5 seconds -- but cops aren't considering it "breakage" because he stopped touching the brakes 31 feet from the wall.
The medical examiner says it doesn't appear McClendon had a medical episode in the final moments -- fueling theories the crash was a suicide.
It's important to note that McClendon had been indicted on a conspiracy charge just hours before the crash -- and was facing prison time if convicted.
Cops are still investigating the crash -- talking with people he was close with ... including co-workers.