A US official says investigators believe the Las Vegas shooter may have hired a prostitute in the days before the shooting, and they are interviewing other call girls as they look for clues into his motive.
The official said Friday that prostitutes are among the hundreds of leads they are pursuing as part of their investigation into Stephen Paddock.
The official, who was briefed by federal law enforcement officials, wasn’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
The official says a note containing a series of numbers was found on a nightstand in Paddock’s room at the Mandalay Bay hotel after the shooting.
A US official says investigators believe the Las Vegas shooter, Stephen Paddock, may have hired a prostitute in the days before the shooting. Paddock is seen in this undated file photo with his girlfriend, Marilou Danley
The official said Friday that prostitutes are among the hundreds of leads they are pursuing as part of their investigation into Paddock
The official also says that Paddock had taken at least a dozen cruises out of the U.S. in the last few years, most with his girlfriend Marilou Danley. The official said at least one of the cruises was to the Middle East.
Law enforcement have said they are ‘confident’ Stephen Paddock carried out the Mandalay Bay massacre from his hotel room alone.
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Undersheriff Kevin McMahill said on Friday that investigators are sure no one else was in the room before he shot dead 58 and injured almost 500 on Sunday.
Earlier, NBC News had reported a mysterious charger that did not mach any of Paddock’s cellphones – raising the possibility that another person had been with Paddock beforehand.
However, later police said that they have now matched all the cell phones and all the chargers and that they belong to Paddock.
At a press conference on Friday, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Undersheriff Kevin C. McMahill said they were no closer to establishing a motive for the mass murder
‘We’re very confident there was not another shooter in that room,’ said McMahill during a press conference in Las Vegas on Friday afternoon.
‘What we cannot confirm is whether anybody else knew about this incident before he carried it out.’
This comes as local and federal officials announced they are erecting billboards around the city appealing to the public to come forward with information about the shooting.
The billboards will have the message ‘If you know something, say something’ and investigators hope this will help generate leads for the case which has so far left law enforcement struggling to find a motive.
‘There are still a number of people out there that know that something looked out of place,’ said McMahill
‘Someone may have been acting suspiciously that night, or in the years prior, the months prior. Someone that may have seen something or knows something.’
A note containing a series of numbers was found on a nightstand in Paddock’s room at the Mandalay Bay hotel after the shooting. Paddock’s body, two of his weapons, and ammunition are seen in his hotel room shortly after he perpetrated the massacre
Police confirmed that Paddock was the only gunman, as suspected, and said there was no proof that anyone else accessed the room in the days before the attack
The FBI’s special agent in charge in Las Vegas said that the idea is to reach ‘as many people as we possibly can’ and that they will not stop until ‘they have the truth’.
But at the press conference on Friday, McMahill said detectives were no closer to understanding what motivated Paddock’s killing spree.
‘To date we have run down well more than 1,000 leads in this investigation. Some of it has helped create a better profile into the madness of this suspect but we do not still have a clear motive or reason why.
‘In the past, terror attacks or mass murder cases, motive was made very clear by a note that was left by a social media post, by a telephone call that was made.
‘Today, in our investigation, we don’t have any of that uncovered. I wish we did.’
He confirmed that Paddock was the only gunman, as suspected, and said there was no proof that anyone else accessed the room in the days before the attack.
Authorities are however still investigating whether someone knew Paddock was about to commit the worst mass shooting in US history.
Workers board up a broken window at the Mandalay Bay hotel where Paddock conducted his mass shooting
The only other named person of interest is Paddock’s girlfriend, Marilou Danley, who was in the Philippines on Sunday night.
Paddock paid for her ticket there and also wired her $100,000 in cash but Danley, 62, believed it was his way of breaking up with her.
She flew back to the US on Wednesday at the request of police after earlier telling family that her conscience was clear.
Detectives appeared convinced on Friday that someone else, somewhere, held information which could solve the mystery of what drove Paddock to commit the killings.
‘It’s really imperative that the listening public have a very clear understanding that there are still a number of people out there that know something looked of place.
‘If you know something, you need to say something,’ McMahill said.
One suggested motive that was put forward by a reporter on Friday was that Paddock was ‘obsessed’ with the month of October however McMahill could not give any credit to the suggestion that it is what may have caused the killings.
He said they were ‘keenly’ pursuing his medical records to verify reports that he was taking prescription drugs and had potentially deteriorated into mental illness.
At Friday’s press conference, detectives also gave further detail about some of the explosives that were found inside Paddock’s car which was parked in the hotel parking lot.
It contained 50lbs of tannerite – an exploding target which triggers mass explosions when shot at. It is made out of ammonium nitrate and aluminum powder.
McMahill said he did not know what Paddock planned to do with the material but said it had not been modified in anyway to turn into an IED as was reported.
He also dismissed claims that someone else accessed the room using Paddock’s key card while his Hyundai was not in the parking lot.
Detectives are working through ‘voluminous’ amounts of surveillance footage from inside the hotel, he said, but have so far not been able to find any other suspect.
It was also revealed that hotel security guard Jesus Campos, who alerted police to Paddock’s specific location after being shot in the leg when he disturbed his killing spree, was on the floor investigating an open door on one of the rooms.
McMahill did not say whether it was Paddock’s room which triggered the alarm but he offered a clearer picture of how Campos found himself in the firing line.
‘Jesus Campos is a true hero. He was dispatched to what they call a door alarm on the 32nd floor,’ he said, clarifying that such an alarm was issued when a door was left ajar.
‘He went up there to investigate and as he was doing his job diligently, he came under fire from our suspect.
‘He was struck in the leg, and he turned around retreated. He notified his dispatch which was absolutely critical to us knowing the location as well as advising the responding officers as they arrived on that 32nd floor.
‘This was a remarkable effort by a brave and remarkable man. I don’t think we’ve done a good enough job of recognizing him and his actions. For that I apologize.
‘I want to clear the record. He is an absolute hero,’ McMahill added.
The undersheriff also dismissed, again, the repeated claims from ISIS that Paddock carried out the attack in the name of Islamic terror.
The FBI also announced on Friday the launch of a designated campaign to the public for information.
Police are not yet able to tell the survivors who abandoned their belongings at the concert venue as they fled the scene when they will be able to retrieve them.
Members of the FBI walk among piles of personal items at the scene of the mass shooting on Friday
‘We have thousands of pieces of property left on the field that day. We are diligently looking at ways to catalogue it, collect it and find the mechanism to return it but we’re still days away from allowing that to happen,’ he said.
The Route 91 Harvest festival was not the first music event Paddock targeted.
In August, he rented hotel rooms overlooking the Lollapalooza festival in Chicago which Malia Obama attended with friends.
Paddock never showed up for the event despite reserving a suite in the hotel.
A picture is slowly emerging of how he deteriorated into a gambling addiction in recent years, at times blowing $100,000 a time on video poker.
Paddock, whose family said made millions through real estate deals, was considered a low roller but spent enough in the casinos that he frequented to be treated favourably by staff.
His $500-a-night suite at the Mandalay Bay was comped because he always spent so much there.
Such was his relationship with other casinos that his girlfriend Marilou would be given all-expenses paid shopping trips by some of the establishments.
Paddock and Marilou lived in a $400,000 home in a retirement community in Mesquite, Nevada.