Las Vegas shooting: Police say they’ve pursued 'a thousand leads' but still found no motive

Authorities are asking the public to help with more details about the shooter

Clark Mindock
New York
Friday 06 October 2017 22:16 BST
Investigators still don't know what motivated the shooter
Investigators still don't know what motivated the shooter (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

Investigators still don’t have a clear motive related to the shooting in Las Vegas nearly a week after it took place.

During a press briefing Friday, officials said that they’d gone through the shooter’s personal and financial life, and still had not figured out what motivated him to open fire on the Route 91 country music festival.

“We’ve run a thousand leads” Kevin McMahill, the under-sheriff for the Clark County Police Department said. “While some of it has helped create a better profiling to the madness of the suspect, we do not still have a motive or reason why.”

Officials urged the public to come forward if they know anything that might help them figure out what made Stephen Paddock killed 58 people and injuring nearly 500 more Sunday night before turning the gun on himself. Investigators are looking at all aspects of the 64-year-old’s life, from his birth to his death. If someone recalls even something slightly off about the shooter, they said, the detail could be helpful in the investigation.

They also said that reports indicating that the shooter was affiliated with any particular group, and reports speculating about motive, have not helped the investigation.

“All of the rumours about affiliation have not been helpful,” Mr McMahill said.

The security guard who first approached the shooter’s hotel suite, Jesus Campos, was hailed as a hero during the briefing.

“This was a remarkable effort by a brave and remarkable man” Mr McMahill said.

After searches of Paddock’s belongings by investigators, it was determined that he was in possession of a substance commonly used to build improvised explosive devices, however it was not found in the form of an explosive when it was found. Investigators also found aluminium nitrate and aluminium powder.

Paddock broke the windows on the 32nd floor of his hotel room in the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino Sunday night, and rained gunfire on thousands of people below and across the street at a country music festival. He shot for just over 10 minutes before stopping. It wasn’t clear if her had shot himself at that moment, or if he did so later.

Police didn’t clear his room until nearly an hour later, after removing everyone from the 32nd floor and clearing the other rooms. They moved slowly because they no longer heard the sound of active gunfire.

Paddock’s girlfriend, Marilou Danley, returned to the United States from a trip to the Philippines Wednesday, and was interrogated by the FBI to determine if she had prior knowledge that the attack would take place. They also interviewed her to determine if she could provide further details about why he might shoot innocent people, and if there were any clues.

“I knew Stephen Paddock as a kind, caring, quiet man,” Ms Danley in a statement read by her lawyer Matthew Lombard, a criminal defense attorney. “He never said anything to me or took any action that I was aware of that I understood in any way to be a warning that something horrible like this was going to happen.”

Ms Danley said that the shooter had surprised her with plane tickets to go see her family in the Philippines just over two weeks ago, but had thought nothing of it. She said that she had later received $100,000 from him, and told to buy a home for herself and her family. She said that was only troubling to her because she was concerned that he was going to break up with her.

Investigators found 23 firearms in Paddock’s hotel room, and another 24 at his homes in Reno and Mesquite, Nevada.

Paddock was known as a man with a penchant for high stakes gambling, and his preference was for virtual games. Neighbours in his 55-plus living community in Mesquite said that he mostly kept to himself.

Ms Danley and Paddock reportedly met while she was working as a high-limit hostess at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa in Reno. Friends said that they both enjoyed the casino lifestyle. They never married, but reportedly lived together.

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