More than a week after Stephen Paddock carried out the deadliest mass shooting in US history, Las Vegas Police and the FBI still have few clues about what motivated the millionaire semi-retired professional gambler to murder 59 people, and – perhaps more disturbing – no idea why he ended his reign of terror after just 11 minutes.
On Monday, police “updated the narrative” for the shooting, admitting that a Mandalay Bay security guard who had been shot in the leg by Paddock was shot before – not after – Paddock carried out the deadly assault. Previously, authorities had maintained that the guard, Jesus Campos, had been responsible for stopping the attack. Now, they’re saying Paddock shot Campos through his door after detecting him on cameras he had set up in the hall – a full six minutes before Paddock started raining bullets on the crowd below.
Unsurprisingly given the public’s voracious appetite for news about the investigation, more details emerged early Wednesday, when it was revealed that Paddock had used the freight elevator at Mandalay Bay in the days ahead of the attack. And in the latest sign that Paddock had hoped to maximize casualties during his rampage, police have revealed that fired special ‘incendiary’ bullets at a jet fuel tank, probably in the hopes of causing a massive explosion. Authorities had said earlier that he fired two conventional rounds at the tank, but failed to penetrate it.
The rounds, meant to ignite what they hit, were found inside Paddock’s room at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino and near the fuel tank a short distance away on the grounds of McCarran International Airport, the sources said. Of course, this highlights a major inconsistency in the official narrative that needs to be addressed: If Paddock clearly intended to cause as much harm as possible, then why did he stop firing after just 11 minutes?
Furthermore, why did he kill himself if he was in possession of “personal protection gear” in his hotel suite and explosives in his car that suggest he planned to escape and possibly carry out a second phase of the assault. There’s still no evidence that Paddock ascribed to any political or religious ideology.
Meanwhile, police say the Las Vegas shooter’s Reno home was broken into over the weekend, causing another round of police activity in the normally quiet Del Webb neighborhood, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal, and potentially complicating the investigation after LV Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said Monday that investigators would revisit Paddock’s homes.
“The question was: Is the FBI along with LVMPD revisiting the personal property of the suspect? Yes, that is accurate along with the behavioral analysis detectives,” Lombardo said. “They are also present and maybe we can discern additional evidence as a result of that revisit.”
Paddock purchased the small tan home in Reno’s Somersett neighborhood, one of several homes where Paddock lived with his girlfriend Marilou Danley, in 2013.
Officer Tim Broadway with the Reno Police Department said the suspect or suspects broke into the home through the front door over the weekend, noting he was not sure how exactly the suspects gained entry.
Reno officers arrived on scene and “immediately notified the FBI,” he said. Broadway said the department is working with the FBI to “make sure there are no further incidents.”
Broadway said officers were not aware of anything that was taken or whether there were any damages. There are no suspects at this time.
So, the question remains. What inspired a wealthy real-estate investor and accountant with no criminal history, and only glancing brushes with mental illness (though some have speculated that he may have been an undiagnosed schitzophrenic judging by his tendency to talk to apparently imaginary figures) to carry out the worst mass shooting in US history?
And, while police have been quick to discredit video evidence appearing to show shots being fired from a lower floor, Lombardo’s remark that Paddock “must’ve had help” continues to resonate.