Authorities still searching for motive behind Las Vegas mass shooting

Friday, October 06, 2017 04:33PM
Undersheriff Kevin C. McMahill provided an update on the investigation Friday. He says authorities have looked at gunman Stephen Paddock's personal life, political affiliation, economic situation and any potential radicalization


LAS VEGAS - Las Vegas shooter Stephen Craig Paddock's anti-social personality will only hamper investigators as they try to figure to piece together what led to the shooting.

"It's extremely difficult," said Erroll Southers, the director of homegrown violent extremism studies at the University of Southern California.

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"The lack of a social media footprint is likely intentional," Southers said. "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.

"What's really puzzling is that we've seen him with similar kinds of activity - booking rooms in other places - so you have to ask yourself the reason he picked Las Vegas and not somewhere else."

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Paddock fired indiscriminately Sunday from his upper-level room at the Mandalay Bay hotel casino at people attending a country music festival below, killing dozens and injuring nearly 500 people. The 64-year-old Paddock killed himself as authorities closed in.

Because so few people knew Paddock well, investigators will likely have an even harder time sorting through his background to try to uncover any possible leads, Southers said.

"You don't have any cases of leakage - no one to say who's he mad at, what his motive is," Southers said. "The key to this case right now is the girlfriend."

"The reason you want to engage in a terror attack is you want to bring attention to an extremist ideology, you want publicity," he said. "You want people to be afraid of what you believe what you do."

Authorities are planning to put up billboards in Las Vegas to seek more tips as they investigate the deadliest shooting rampage in modern U.S. history.

Undersheriff Kevin McMahill also revealed at a news conference Friday afternoon that police are confident there was not another shooter in Stephen Paddock's room.

Paddock fired indiscriminately Sunday from his upper-level room at the Mandalay Bay hotel casino at people attending a country music festival below, killing dozens and injuring nearly 500 people. The 64-year-old Paddock killed himself as authorities closed in.

McMahill also said that authorities don't have any information that anyone else used Paddock's room key.

He says authorities are interested in Paddock's medical history and are looking into that.

Authorities say they still don't have a clear motive for the Las Vegas shooting rampage.

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