Investigators no closer to unlocking mystery of Las Vegas gunman’s motive
By KEN RITTER, MICHAEL BALSAMO and SADIE GURMAN
LAS VEGAS — Those seeking to know the motive of Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock have had little more to chase than hints and shadows.
Paddock led such a low-key, private life that no one seemed to know him well, and those who did had no sense he was capable of the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.
Where other mass killers have left behind a trail of plain-sight clues that help investigators quickly understand what drove them to violence, Paddock, 64, had nearly no close friends, social media presence or other clear connections to the broader world.
Even the No. 2 official in the FBI said Wednesday he was surprised investigators have not uncovered more about why a man with no obvious criminal record would cause so much bloodshed.
“There’s all kinds of things that surprise us in each one of these events. That’s the one in this one, and we are not there yet,” FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe said. “We have a lot of work to do.”
Working with what little they know, investigators have zeroed in on a weapon-buying binge Paddock went on one year before he gunned down 58 people Sunday at a country music festival from a 32nd-floor room at the Mandalay Bay casino resort before killing himself.
They wonder if he had some sort of mental break at the time that drove him to start making plans for mass murder.
They also know he rented an apartment in a Las Vegas high-rise over another music festival the weekend before the massacre, though not why.
They know he was a major gambler and are looking at related records, though even in very public casinos he played the very private game of video poker.
They know he had a plan to survive the shooting and […]