(MENAFN - Gulf Times) Police and FBI agents, chasing down more than 1,000 dead-end leads since
a gunman killed 58 people in Las Vegas, are seeking more help from the
public in solving the central mystery of their investigation the
Clark County Undersheriff Kevin McMahill said investigators remain
largely in the dark about what drove retired real estate investor and
high-stakes gambler Stephen Paddock to carry out the deadliest mass
shooting in modern US history.
'We have looked at everything, literally, to include the suspect's
personal life, any political affiliation, his social behaviors, economic
situation, any potential radicalisation, McMahill told reporters late
on Friday. 'We have been down each and every single one of these paths,
trying to determine why, to determine who else may have known of these
McMahill acknowledged that the Islamic State (IS) group had repeatedly
claimed responsibility for the attack, but said investigators had
uncovered 'no nexus between the Middle East-based militant group and
In an unusual bid to cast a wider net for tips, the Federal Bureau of
Investigation (FBI) and police have arranged with communications company
Clear Channel to post billboards around Las Vegas urging citizens to
come forward with any information they believe might help investigators.
The billboards will bear the slogan, 'If you know something, say
something, and carry a toll-free number to an FBI hotline, said Aaron
Rouse, special agent in charge of the Las Vegas FBI office.
The public appeal came a day before US Vice-President Mike Pence was
slated to join Mayor Carolyn Goodman and other local leaders at a City
Hall commemoration for victims of the shooting, following a prayer walk
through the city.
President Donald Trump paid a visit to Las Vegas earlier in the week.
Paddock, 64, unleashed a torrent of gunfire onto an outdoor music
festival from the windows of his 32nd-floor hotel suite overlooking the
concert last Sunday night, then shot himself to death before police
stormed his room.
In addition to the 58 people who died, nearly 500 were injured, some by
gunfire, some trampled or otherwise hurt while running for cover.
Unlike so many other perpetrators of deadly mass shootings before him,
Paddock left behind no suicide note, no manifesto, no recordings and no
messages on social media pointing to his intent, according to police.
McMahill said investigators remained certain Paddock acted alone in the shooting.
But police have said they suspect that he had help before the killings,
based on the large number of guns, ammunition and explosives found in
the hotel suite, his home, his car and a second home searched in Reno.
Authorities have said that 12 of the weapons recovered from Paddock's
hotel suite were equipped with so-called bump-stock devices that enable
semi-automatic rifles to be operated as if they were fully automatic
Paddock's ability to fire hundreds of rounds per minute over the course
of his 10-minute shooting spree was a major factor in the high casualty
count, police said.
The bloodshed might have lasted longer, with greater loss of life, but
for a hotel security officer who was sent to check an open-door alarm on
the 32nd floor, and discovered the gunman's whereabouts after the
shooting started, McMahill said.
The security officer, Jesus Campos, was struck in the leg as the gunman
strafed the hallway with gunfire from behind his door, apparently having
detected Campos via surveillance cameras that Paddock set up outside
his hotel suite.
Campos, though wounded, alerted the hotel's dispatch, 'which was
absolutely critical to us knowing the location as well as advising the
responding officers as they arrived on that 32nd floor, McMahill said.
'He's an absolute hero.
In a new disclosure, authorities said two bullets Paddock fired struck a
large jet fuel storage tank at the edge of the city's main airport,
about a block from the concert grounds, indicating an apparent attempt
by the gunman to create even greater havoc.
There was no explosion or fire from the two rounds, one of which
penetrated the tank, as jet fuel in storage is almost impossible to
ignite with gunshots, airport officials said on Friday.
Paddock's girlfriend, Marilou Danley, 62, was questioned by the FBI on
Wednesday and said in a statement that she never had any inkling of
Danley, who returned late on Tuesday from a family visit to the
Philippines, is regarded by investigators as a 'person of interest.
The Australian citizen of Filipino heritage is co-operating fully with authorities, her lawyer said.