Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Judge unseals search warrants in mass shooting in Las Vegas

Judge unseals search warrants in mass shooting in Las Vegas

Three months before killing 58 people and wounding more than 500 in Las Vegas last October, the gunman behind the deadliest mass shooting in US history sent emails discussing buying bump stocks, which can make semiautomatic rifles fire hundreds of rounds a minute, media reports on unsealed search warrants showed.

The gunman responsible for the deadly Las Vegas mass shooting last October appeared to send emails about bump stocks months before killing 58 people and wounding over 500 others at a country music festival, new court documents released Friday show.

Hundreds of pages of court documents from the case of Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock have been made public. "Located in the las vegas area", read one message sent to an account investigators believe was controlled by Paddock, the documents state.

An FBI agent tells a judge in warrant documents made public Friday that Marilou Danley wasn't arrested when she returned to the USA from the Philippines days after the October 1 shooting, and that she was cooperating with investigators.

An FBI special agent wrote in one affidavit seeking a search warrant that "the methodical nature of the planning employed by Paddock, coupled with his efforts to undermine the preceding investigation, are factors indicative of a level of sophistication which is commonly found in mass casualty events such as this".

If there was a second person involved in the communications, an Federal Bureau of Investigation agent wrote, "investigators need to determine who was communicating with him about weapons that were used in the attack". She was out of the country when the attack happened, and Danley said after the shooting that she was in the Philippines at the time because Paddock had bought her a ticket to visit family. Search warrant requests also sought access to Paddock's email accounts and his homes in Mesquite and Reno.

But investigators said the use of bump stocks on the night of the shooting allowed Paddock to fire rifles nearly as though they were automatic weapons.

In the days after the shootings, authorities called Danley a "person of interest".

Danley reportedly told investigators that they should expect to find her fingerprints on some of the weapons used in the massacre, which killed 75 people, because she sometime helped Paddock load ammunition into his guns. Investigators say they suspect he may have been emailing himself, but couldn't figure out why.

Caution tape cordons off Stephen Paddock’s 32nd-floor suite at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.

Federal authorities sought access to email addresses used by Paddock and Danley as well as Instagram, Facebook, Google and Amazon accounts they might have used.

The newspaper also said investigators identified an email inbox belonging to Paddock that contained a message from a Gmail account officials believe was related to Paddock's preparations for the attack.

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