FBI knew Las Ve­gas gun­man had big gun stashes

The Maui News - - NEWS - By KEN RIT­TER

LAS VE­GAS — FBI agents knew the gun­man be­hind the dead­li­est mass shoot­ing in mod­ern U.S. 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.

A U.S. judge in Ne­vada un­sealed the doc­u­ments show­ing some of what fed­eral agents learned about Stephen Pad­dock in the week af­ter the Las Ve­gas shoot­ing. They also show that agents sought the email, Face­book and In­sta­gram ac­counts of Pad­dock’s girl­friend, Mar­ilou Dan­ley, who was in the Philip­pines dur­ing the Oct. 1 shoot­ing.

Las Ve­gas po­lice Of­fi­cer Aden Ocampo Gomez and FBI spokes­woman San­dra Breault said Fri­day that they had no up­date about Pad­dock’s mo­tive. Both called it an on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors have said that Pad­dock metic­u­lously planned his at­tack and in­ten­tion­ally con­cealed his ac­tions. He modified as­sault-style ri­fles to shoot rapidly, set up cam­eras to watch for po­lice out­side his ho­tel room and wounded a se­cu­rity guard in the ho­tel hall­way.

Pad­dock’s three-bed­room house in a re­tire­ment com­mu­nity in the city of Mesquite was searched twice — first by po­lice and FBI agents in the hours im­me­di­ately af­ter Pad­dock was iden­ti­fied as the shooter.

Clark County Sher­iff Joe Lom­bardo later said that an Oct. 2 search found 19 guns and sev­eral pounds of po­ten­tially ex­plo­sive ma­te­ri­als.

The FBI re­turned to the house a week later for what of­fi­cials called “re­doc­u­ment­ing and recheck­ing.”

Of­fi­cers also raided Pad­dock’s ho­tel suite where he opened fire and searched his ve­hi­cle af­ter it was found parked in the casino park­ing struc­ture. Lom­bardo said sev­eral pounds of am­mo­nium ni­trate, a ma­te­rial used to make ex­plo­sives, was found in the car.

Other searches were con­ducted at a house the gun­man owned in Reno where agents found a red SUV. A neigh­bor re­ported that Pad­dock kept a safe the size of a re­frig­er­a­tor in the garage.

FBI agents also re­turned to that house, on Oct. 10, af­ter lo­cal po­lice de­ter­mined some­one had bro­ken in days ear­lier.

A Ne­vada judge is due to hear ar­gu­ments Tues­day about whether Las Ve­gas po­lice search war­rant doc­u­ments should re­main sealed.

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