FBI to use bill­boards in search for mo­tive

In­ves­ti­ga­tors say Ve­gas gun­man may have planned more at­tacks.

Sunday Star-Times - - WORLD -

Af­ter five days of scour­ing the life of Las Ve­gas gun­man Stephen Pad­dock and chas­ing hun­dreds of leads, in­ves­ti­ga­tors say they still don’t know what drove him to mass mur­der, and have an­nounced plans to put up bill­boards ap­peal­ing for the pub­lic’s help.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors have ex­am­ined Pad­dock’s pol­i­tics, his fi­nances, any pos­si­ble rad­i­cal­i­sa­tion and his so­cial be­hav­iour – typ­i­cal av­enues that have helped to un­cover the mo­tive in past shoot­ings.

‘‘We still do not have a clear mo­tive or rea­son why,’’ Clark County Un­der­sh­er­iff Kevin McMahill said yes­ter­day. ‘‘We have looked at lit­er­ally ev­ery­thing.’’

The FBI an­nounced that bill­boards would go up around the city ask­ing any­one with in­for­ma­tion to phone 800-CALL-FBI.

‘‘If you know some­thing, say some­thing,’’ said Aaron Rouse, agent in charge of the Las Ve­gas FBI of­fice. ‘‘We will not stop un­til we have the truth.’’

Pad­dock, a reclu­sive 64-year-old high-stakes gam­bler and mil­lion­aire real es­tate in­vestor, rained bul­lets on the crowd at a coun­try mu­sic fes­ti­val, killing 58 peo­ple and wound­ing hun­dreds be­fore tak­ing his own life.

McMahill said in­ves­ti­ga­tors had re­viewed vo­lu­mi­nous video from the Man­dalay Bay ho­tel and casino and did not think Pad­dock had an ac­com­plice in the shoot­ing, but they wanted to know if any­one knew about his plot be­fore­hand.

In pre­vi­ous mass killings or ter­ror­ist at­tacks in the US, the killers left notes, so­cial me­dia post­ings and in­for­ma­tion on a com­puter, or even phoned the po­lice.

‘‘The lack of a so­cial me­dia foot­print is likely in­ten­tional,’’ said Er­roll Southers, di­rec­tor of home­grown vi­o­lent ex­trem­ism stud­ies at the Uni­ver­sity of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia. ‘‘We’re so used to, in the first 24 to 48 hours, be­ing able to re­view so­cial me­dia posts. If they don’t leave us a note be­hind or a man­i­festo be­hind, and we’re not see­ing that, that’s what’s mak­ing this longer.’’

A fed­eral of­fi­cial said au­thor­i­ties were look­ing into the pos­si­bil­ity that Pad­dock had planned ad­di­tional at­tacks, in­clud­ing a car bomb­ing.

An­other of­fi­cial said in­ves­ti­ga­tors be­lieved Pad­dock may have hired a pros­ti­tute in the days be­fore the shoot­ing, and they were in­ter­view­ing other call girls as they looked for clues to his mo­tive.

The of­fi­cial said a note con­tain­ing a se­ries of num­bers was found on a night­stand in Pad­dock’s ho­tel room af­ter the shoot­ing.

The of­fi­cial also said that Pad­dock had taken at least a dozen cruises out of the US in the last few years, most of them with his girl­friend Mar­ilou Dan­ley. At least one of the cruises was to the Mid­dle East.

Dan­ley said Pad­dock dis­played signs of men­tal health is­sues and would moan and scream ‘‘Oh, my God’’ in his sleep, ac­cord­ing to two for­mer FBI of­fi­cials.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors do not be­lieve Pad­dock’s men­tal health had de­te­ri­o­rated to a point that it trig­gered his hor­rific shoot­ing spree. He had re­port­edly been pre­scribed the anti-anx­i­ety med­i­ca­tion Val­ium.

Las Ve­gas Sher­iff Joe Lom­bardo has raised the pos­si­bil­ity that Pad­dock may not have been work­ing alone in ex­e­cut­ing Amer­ica’s worst modern-day shoot­ing spree.

MSNBC re­ported yes­ter­day that a mobile phone charger that did not match Pad­dock’s phone was found in his Man­dalay Bay suite, and it ap­peared that the key­card for his room was used to open the door when his car had left the casino car park.

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