Want to finally know why Stephen Paddock gunned down 58 people in Las Vegas in early October?
Be prepared to wait a while – possibly until next October – the chief of the FBI’s Las Vegas office revealed this week during an interview in which he said the agency probably wouldn't brief the public until their report is released sometime before the tragedy’s first anniversary.
“Now that’s a long time for some people, but speaking for the FBI, that’s light speed, all right?” Special Agent in Charge Aaron Rouse told the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Wednesday.
Rouse said reports from other agencies investigating the mass shooting will be released at different times, but the FBI’s one is “focusing a large part on the why” which is “what everybody wants to know.”
That burning question has not been answered, but Rouse said evidence still suggests Paddock was the only person involved in the attack and that he has not been linked with any affiliations or ideologies. The FBI previously denied claims by the Islamic State that Paddock was responding to a call to intensify attacks against Western countries bombing its territories in Syria and Iraq.
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Sheriff Joe Lombardo has said in the past that Paddock’s mounting gambling losses may have played a role.
“As I sit here today, I believe that we are learning as much as we possibly can about why the subject did what they did,” Rouse said.
Rouse told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the FBI has interviewed around 400 people worldwide in connection to Paddock and has brought in the same number of specialists to help document evidence. He said the Route 91 Harvest music festival site took investigators 14 days to comb over, while Paddock’s room and hotel hallway at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino took 13. Important items found at both sites have been sent to the FBI's central lab in Virginia.
“We’re going to have, I think, the best digital schematic of what happened and where it happened and how it happened that you can come up with,” Rouse said.
He added that FBI investigators have 22,000 hours of surveillance and cellphone footage and 250,000 photos to look over, amounting to about 40 terabytes of data.
“We didn’t leave anything uncovered,” Rouse told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “And again, the casinos, with their support, let us track down a lot of information of who may have had contact with that person. And it was very helpful to us.”