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lunes, 15 de enero de 2018

Bombshell: The FBI knew about the Las Vegas shooter’s huge gun stash

We still have very few answers regarding the worst mass shooting in American history that occurred in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Oct. 1, 2017 — and now, new details have emerged that have some questioning the actions (and inactions) of the Justice Department.

Court documents released on Friday revealed that the FBI was aware of gunman Stephen Paddock’s caches of guns, ammunition, and explosives when they sought to get search warrants to check his properties and online accounts.

While Paddock’s motives still remain a mystery, a federal judge in Nevada unsealed documents on Friday that showed what investigators knew in the week following the tragedy.

What The Documents Showed

The FBI affidavits, which totaled 315 pages, showed just a fraction of what investigators found when they searched Paddock’s home and car in the weeks following the October shooting, which left 58 victims dead and hundreds injured.

In addition to the stashes of weapons, explosives, and ammunition, the FBI found that the gunman sent emails back and forth between two different addresses several months prior to the shooting. In them, Paddock discussed buying and selling assault-style rifles and “bump stock” mechanisms that can make a semi-automatic weapon fire as an automating firearm, ABC reported.

Similarities in the email account names led investigators to suspect Paddock was emailing himself, but at the time of the filing, investigators hadn’t determined whether Paddock was corresponding with another person or whether he controlled both email accounts.

The affidavits also showed that investigators sought the Facebook, Instagram, and email accounts of Paddock’s girlfriend, Marilou Danley, who was in the Philippines at the time of the shooting, and also revealed that Danley deleted her Facebook account an hour before police released the shooter’s name to the public.

While this information is valuable, the documents did not answer the pressing question still fresh in the minds of many Americans: Why did Paddock commit this heinous act?

What Is Known

While many questions remain, it is known that Paddock carefully planned his attack in the weeks prior to the shooting. Additionally, he reportedly modified his rifles with bump stocks, placed cameras in the hallway of the Mandalay Bay hotel — from which he fired on an unsuspecting crowd — and shot and injured a security guard before his rampage.

But police said they have no evidence that Paddock had any help in planning or carrying out the attack, according to ABC.

His three bedroom home, in a retirement community in Mesquite, Nevada, was searched twice, first by police, and later by FBI agents. A week after the initial search, the FBI returned to the home for what it referred to as “redocumenting and rechecking.”

The bureau also searched Paddock’s Mandalay Bay suite and his vehicle, which was found parked in the casino parking area. Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said that investigators found 19 guns and several pounds of ammonium nitrate, a substance that is used in the making of explosives, in these areas.

According to ABC, “a Nevada judge is due to hear arguments Tuesday about whether Las Vegas police search warrant documents should remain sealed.”