It was a feel-good hero story that for several days gave Americans some comfort after the murder of 13 soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas.
But like so many war stories — including the infamous rescue of Private Jessica Lynch during the 2003 invasion of Iraq — the exact details of how last Thursday's mass shooting at Fort Hood was brought to a violent end are growing more murky by the day.
Initially it was claimed that a slightly-built female police officer, Sergeant Kimberly "Mighty Mouse" Munley, opened fire on the suspect, Major Nidal Malik Hasan, and kept shooting even after being hit three times.
But at least one witness now claims that Sergeant Munley, 35, was in fact hit by Major Hasan before she had time to get off a single round, and that it was her partner, Senior Sergeant Mark Todd, who actually felled the man now charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder. The witness, whose account was reported in The New York Times, declined to give his or her name.
Other official statements on the day of the shooting have also turned out to be wildly inaccurate, including a claim that Major Hasan had been killed.
"I would caution anyone from speculating about who did what until the investigation is complete," said Chris Grey, a spokesman for the U.S. Army's criminal investigation division, at a press conference at the military base last night.
Grey confirmed, however, that "both [police oficers] engaged the suspect" and that Major Hasan "did not have a scheduled appointment" at Fort Hood's Soldier Readiness Processing Center, where the shooting began.
Hasan called himself a "soldier of Allah" on business cards found in his apartment after the shooting rampage.
The Army psychiatrist reportedly obtained the business cards over the Internet. In addition to listing his profession and contact information, the cards contain a discrete reference to his religion: "SoA(SWT)."
Watchdogs say the first letters are shorthand among militant Muslims to "soldier of Allah." The last letters refer to "Subhanahu Wa Ta'all," which means "glory to God."
The business cards were among numerous discoveries in Hasan's apartment of interest to investigators, who also are looking into whether Hasan wired money to Pakistan before last week's massacre.
The Times of London contributed to this report.