Judge unseals search warrants in mass shooting in Las Vegas

Karenine Saint Louis

Metropolitan Police Department investigators noticed that Marilou Danley, the gunman's girlfriend, who was in the Philippines at the time, set her Facebook account to private at 12:30 a.m. on October 2 and deleted the account by 2:46 a.m., according to an affidavit among more than 300 pages of documents handed over Friday by federal prosecutors after U.S. District Judge Jennifer Dorsey ordered them unsealed.

Prosecutors did not oppose the request by media organizations to unseal the records.

The emails discussing bump stocks appeared to be sent between two accounts on July 6, both of which were run by Paddock, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. "Neither contained significant information that allowed investigators to determine the full scope of Stephen Paddock's planning and preparation for the attack", the documents said. "We have huge selection" in the Las Vegas area, the email allegedly noted.

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. Investigators say they suspect he may have been emailing himself, but couldn't figure out why.

The gunman who opened fire on a music festival from the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino came to Las Vegas armed with an arsenal - more than 20 firearms and hundreds of rounds of ammunition in his room and more than 1,000 rounds and 100 pounds of explosive material in his vehicle, according to search warrants unsealed Friday.

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 Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

Investigators have interviewed Paddock's girlfriend, Marilou Danley, several times during in the ongoing investigation, the court documents show.

Investigators have said that Paddock meticulously planned his attack and intentionally concealed his actions.

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The documents also revealed that Paddock, who fatally shot himself after firing on the crowd, may have had email conversations with himself about purchasing rifles and bump stocks in the months leading up to the massacre.

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

The FBI returned to the house a week later for what officials at the time called "redocumenting and rechecking".

Other searches were conducted at a house the gunman owned in Reno where agents found a red SUV.

Federal Bureau of Investigation agents also returned to that house, on October 10, after local police determined someone had broken in days earlier.

The documents made public did not answer the key question: What motivated Paddock, a 64-year-old high-stakes gambler, to unleash gunfire from his room on the 32nd floor of the resort into an outdoor concert below.

Stephen Paddock adapted his semi-automatic weapons to fire as a fully automatic gun using a bump stock.

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