Las Vegas gunman methodically sought to 'thwart' investigation of massacre, FBI says


Hundreds of pages of court documents unsealed Friday in the case of Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock offer a blueprint of investigators' pursuits in determining how and why the reclusive high-stakes gambler carried out the deadliest shooting in modern US history.

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.

The Las Vegas gunman exchanged emails about buying rifles and bump stocks months before he carried out the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history using guns equipped with the device that allows semi-automatic weapons to fire almost as fast as automatic ones.

A Nevada judge is due to hear arguments Tuesday about whether Las Vegas police search warrant documents should remain sealed.

A federal judge in Nevada released the affidavits, which were filed by the FBI after the mass shooting, in response to lawsuits from multiple publications. Investigators were only able to search one but could not unlock the others. But the third phone, which has a Google operating system, was locked, and authorities said they could only access the device with help.

Paddock unleashed a rain of bullets into a crowd at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival from his hotel room on the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay.

By 5 a.m., she had been located and identified as "a person of interest" in the shooting.

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The documents also showed that Paddock's girlfriend, Marilou Danley, told investigators before they searched a house that the two shared that they might find her fingerprints on ammunition "because she occasionally participated in loading magazines", the Review-Journal reported.

Newly unsealed court documents show that, in the months before the massacre, murderer Stephen Paddock took measures to muddy the waters in the law enforcement investigation he knew would follow his despicable act. In fact, Paddock took a number of steps aimed at tripping up investigators, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation team trying to get to the bottom of the shooting wrote that the 64-year-old exhibited "a level of sophistication which is commonly found in mass casualty events".

Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo later said that October 2 search found 19 guns and several pounds of potentially explosive materials.

Her attorney had said she had no inkling of Paddock's plans.

It said "Try an ar before u buy".

"Investigators have been unable to figure out why Stephen Paddock would be exchanging messages related to weapons that were utilized in the attack between two of his email accounts".

The search warrants said authorities found three cellphones belonging to Paddock in his room at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.