In his first press conference in months about last year’s mass shooting in Las Vegas, Clark County sheriff Joe Lombardo said authorities still have no motive for why Stephen Paddock opened fire on a crowded outdoor concert in October, injuring 851 and killing 58.
But Lombardo, in a move that he said was unusual, did reveal some new details about the shooter and the investigation. He also released a preliminary report detailing the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s work on the case.
Lombardo said police continue to believe that Paddock was the only gunman on October 1, but added that there is another person of interest and charges are expected to be filed in the next two months. That person is not Paddock’s girlfriend Marilou Danley, who was questioned in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, he said.
Much of what Lombardo revealed concerned the details police have found about Paddock, who stockpiled weapons and researched multiple potential locations for the massacre. Police dug through Paddock’s computers and found searches suggesting that he considered Santa Monica beach and Fenway Park as potential targets. They also found that he conducted research into ballistics and SWAT team tactics. Lombardo said investigators found that Paddock possessed child pornography too.
Though Lombardo insisted that Paddock’s motive remains unclear, he did offer some speculation. “I’ve put out in the public space that he had lost a significant amount of his monetary wealth in close proximity to 1 October and that may have a driving factor associated with it,” he said.
The preliminary report included photos from inside of Paddock’s Mandalay Bay hotel room, showing guns strewn about beds, tables, and the floor. Police said he fired 1,100 rounds during his attack and still had 4,000 bullets in his room when killed himself.
Friday’s press conference, Lombardo’s first since October 13, marked a break in the law-enforcement blackout of information on the case. Last week, a judge unsealed court documents after several media outlets sued. The documents offered few new details.
The lack of information on the case has led to wild speculation, including the theory pushed Thursday by a Republican congressman that ISIS was behind the shooting. “I’ve been made aware of what I believe to be credible evidence, credible information, regarding terrorist infiltration through the southern border regarding this incident,” Representative Scott Perry said on Fox News.
“I’d like to see the evidence,” Lombardo said Friday when asked about Perry’s claim.