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Vegas shooting scene like a ‘war zone’

  • An investigator works in the room at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino where a gunman opened fire from on a music festival Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, in Las Vegas. The gunman killed dozens and injuring hundreds at the festival. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Marcio Jose Sanchez

  • Debris litters a festival grounds across the street from the Mandalay Bay resort and casino Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, in Las Vegas. Authorities said Stephen Craig Paddock broke windows on the casino and began firing with a cache of weapons, killing dozens and injuring hundreds at a music festival at the grounds. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Marcio Jose Sanchez

  • Kris Delarosby, right, and Colleen Anderson, left, hold Charleen Jochim, center, as they walk towards a hospital in search of information on a missing friend, Steve Berger of Minnesota, Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, in Las Vegas. Berger is missing since he attended the Route 91 Harvest festival Sunday, and friends and family continue to search for him. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull) Gregory Bull

  • This undated photo provided by Eric Paddock shows his brother, Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock. On Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, Stephen Paddock opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest Festival killing dozens and wounding hundreds. (Courtesy of Eric Paddock via AP) John Raoux

  • Windows are broken at the Mandalay Bay resort and casino, Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, in Las Vegas. Authorities said Stephen Craig Paddock broke the windows and began firing with a cache of weapons, killing dozens and injuring hundreds. (AP Photo/John Locher) John Locher

  • University of Nevada Las Vegas students Raymond Lloyd, right, and Karla Rodriguez take part in a vigil Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, in Las Vegas. A gunman on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay casino hotel rained automatic weapons fire down on the crowd of over 22,000 at an outdoor country music festival Sunday. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull) Gregory Bull

  • The Mandalay Bay resort and casino, right, overlooks an outdoor festival grounds across the street, left, Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, in Las Vegas. Authorities said Stephen Craig Paddock broke the windows on the casino and began firing with a cache of weapons, killing dozens and injuring hundreds at a music festival at the grounds. (AP Photo/John Locher) John Locher

  • Rosa and Alan Duarte become emotional during a vigil at City Hall in Las Vegas, Monday, Oct. 2, 2017. The vigil was held in honor of the over 50 people killed and hundreds injured in a mass shooting at an outdoor music concert late Sunday. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull) Gregory Bull

  • The Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, at left, with a broken window, stands next to the Luxor in Las Vegas, Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017. Authorities said Stephen Craig Paddock broke windows on a high floor of the Mandalay Bay and began firing with a cache of weapons, killing dozens and injuring hundreds at a music festival at the grounds. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Marcio Jose Sanchez

  • Debris litters a festival grounds across the street from the Mandalay Bay resort and casino Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, in Las Vegas. Authorities said Stephen Craig Paddock broke windows on the casino and began firing with a cache of weapons, killing dozens and injuring hundreds at a music festival at the grounds. (AP Photo/John Locher) John Locher

  • Reed Broschart, center, hugs his girlfriend Aria James on the Las Vegas Strip in the aftermath of a mass shooting at a concert Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, in Las Vegas. The couple, both of Ventura, Calif., attended the concert. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Marcio Jose Sanchez

  • A broken window is seen at the Mandalay Bay resort and casino Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, on the Las Vegas Strip following a mass shooting at a music festival in Las Vegas. Authorities say Stephen Craig Paddock broke the window and began firing with a cache of weapons, killing dozens and injuring hundreds. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson) Chris Carlson



Associated Press
Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Investigators trying to figure out why Stephen Paddock gunned down 59 people from his high-rise hotel suite are analyzing his computer and cellphone, looking at casino surveillance footage and seeking to interview his girlfriend.

Nearly two days after the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, what set off the 64-year-old high-rolling gambler and retired accountant remained a big question mark Tuesday, though the Las Vegas sheriff said he is confident investigators will find a motive.

Paddock’s girlfriend, Marilou Danley, is considered a “person of interest” and has been speaking with police from the Philippines, where she is traveling, Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said.

“We anticipate some information from her shortly,” he said.

While the probe into Paddock’s background included searches of two houses he owned in Nevada, some investigators turned their focus from the shooter’s perch to the festival grounds outside the Mandalay Bay hotel casino where his victims fell.

A dozen investigators, most in FBI jackets and all wearing blue booties to avoid contaminating the scene, documented evidence at the site where gunfire rained down Sunday night and country music gave way to screams of pain and terror.

“Shoes, baby strollers, chairs, sunglasses, purses. The whole field was just littered with things,” said Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt, who told The Associated Press it was like a “war zone.” “There were bloodstains everywhere.”

Paddock killed himself before a SWAT team blew off the door of his room on the 32nd floor.

Investigators found video cameras set up inside his room and on a service cart outside it to spy anyone coming his way, Lombardo said.

A hotel security guard who approached the room during the rampage was shot through the door and wounded in the leg.

Paddock had 23 guns with him at the hotel, along with devices that can enable a rifle to fire continuously, like an automatic weapon, authorities said. Nineteen more guns were found at his Mesquite home and seven at his Reno house.

More than 500 people were injured in the rampage, some by gunfire, some during the chaotic escape. At least 45 patients at two hospitals remained in critical condition.

All but three of the dead had been identified by Tuesday afternoon, Lombardo said.

Retired FBI profiler Jim Clemente speculated that there was “some sort of major trigger in his life — a great loss, a breakup, or maybe he just found out he has a terminal disease.”

Clemente said a “psychological autopsy” may be necessary to try to establish the motive for the attack. If the suicide didn’t destroy Paddock’s brain, experts may even find a neurological disorder or malformation, he said.

He said there could even be a genetic component to the slaughter: Paddock’s father was a bank robber who was on the FBI’s most-wanted list in the 1960s and was diagnosed a psychopath.

“The genetics load the gun, personality and psychology aim it, and experiences pull the trigger, typically,” Clemente said.

Paddock had a business degree from Cal State Northridge. In the 1970s and ‘80s, he worked as a mail carrier and an IRS agent and held down an auditing job in the Defense Department, according to the government. He later worked for a defense contractor.

He had no known criminal record, and public records showed no signs of financial troubles, though he was said to be a big gambler.

“No affiliation, no religion, no politics. He never cared about any of that stuff,” his brother, Eric Paddock, said outside his Florida home. He said he was at a loss to explain the massacre.

Nevada’s Gaming Control Board said it will pass along records compiled on Paddock and Danley to investigators. Danley is expected to speak with detectives when she returns to the U.S. from out of the country.

The FBI discounted the possibility of international terrorism early on, even after the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack.

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Sally Ho and Brian Skoloff in Las Vegas; Brian Melley in Los Angeles; and Sadie Gurman and Tami Abdollah in Washington contributed to this report.

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For complete coverage of the Las Vegas shooting, click here: —https://apnews.com/tag/LasVegasmassshooting.