Federal Bureau of Investigation agents knew the gunman behind the deadliest mass shooting in modern USA history left behind big caches of guns, ammunition and explosives when they sought warrants to search his properties and online accounts, according to court documents released Friday. Instead, they demonstrate how authorities continue to seek answers to many questions surrounding the actions and motive of gunman Stephen Paddock. "Located in the las vegas area", reads one email.
Paddock is suspected of killing 58 people and injuring hundreds attending the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas on October 1 before taking his own life.
In the court documents, which detail some of the early days of the investigation, 64-year-old gunman Stephen Paddock is described as spending significant time amassing his weapons and stockpiling ammunition while also seeking "to thwart the eventual law enforcement investigation" into the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history. On Friday, a federal judge shared more than a dozen search warrant affidavits that the FBI had filed in the weeks following the shooting, as CNN points out. "With the shooter dead and no indication that co-conspirators were involved, authorities have no legitimate reason to lock down records related to their investigations". She was out of the country when the attack happened, and Danley said after the shooting that she was in the Philippines at the time because Paddock had bought her a ticket to visit family. But the third phone, which has a Google operating system, was locked, and authorities said they could only access the device with help.
"Paddock used the bump stocks, an after-market weapon accessory, along with AR-style semi-automatic rifle to fire thousands of rounds at a high rate at the concertgoers from a room on the 32nd floor of the nearby Mandalay Bay Hotel". It is not known who the latter email account belongs to.
The FBI affidavit states that when investigators took a DNA sample from Danley, "she spontaneously stated that her fingerprints would likely be found on Paddock's ammunition because she occasionally participated in loading magazines". Investigators say they suspect he may have been emailing himself, but couldn't figure out why.
Paddock shot and killed himself before police arrived at his room at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino on the night of the shootings. One email sent to the second account suggested Paddock try a bump stock with a 100-round magazine "for a thrill", according to CNN.
A Nevada court will hear arguments on Tuesday about whether Las Vegas police search warrant documents should remain sealed or released to the public.