A Mexican official says the search for an American tourist believed to have been shot while crossing a border lake has been temporarily called off.

Tamaulipas state attorney general's office spokesman Ruben Dario Rios Lopez told the McAllen newspaper The Monitor that the search for David Michael Hartley was suspended Thursday so that authorities can look into new strategies to find him.

He says authorities hope to be able to resume the search for Hartley "in a few days."

Hartley's wife, Tiffany, says they were on their way back to the U.S. from photographing a historic Mexican church when pirates in boats opened fire on them, shooting her husband. She says she tried to help her husband but had to flee because they kept shooting.