The live-in girlfriend of the Las Vegas shooter has landed in Los Angeles hours after the sheriff said that among the questions investigators are probing is “did this person get radicalized unbeknownst to us, and we want to identify that source.”
At an afternoon press conference, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Sheriff Joe Lombardo said of Stephen Paddock’s companion Marilou Danley, “Investigation with her is ongoing and we anticipate some information from her here shortly.”
He confirmed that she was in the Philippines. According to ABS-CBN News there, Danley flew from Manila to Hong Kong on Sept. 22, then returned to Manila on Sept. 25. There was no information on when, and from where, she had originally gone to Manila. Paddock reportedly wired $100,000 to an account in the Philippines last week.
“Currently, she is a person of interest,” Lombardo said. She was later met at the airport by FBI agents.
Lombardo said the department was making “progress” on a motive though he didn’t have any answers yet. “I anticipate a substantial amount of information to come in in the next 48 hours,” he said.
The sheriff said an internal investigation has been launched into the leaking of photos from Paddock’s hotel room, showing an arsenal of weapons, stacks of magazines and part of the shooter’s body, that were published in the Daily Mail.
Paddock fired at a “progressive, successive rate” for 9 minutes. The pattern of gunfire was wide, he said, striking some victims outside of the concert grounds.
The shooter had placed cameras outside and inside of the room; Lombardo said the FBI was evaluating all electronic equipment seized, but he was “not aware” of any transmission of video as Paddock conducted the mass shooting. One camera was on a hallway cart holding the dishes from room service that the gunman had earlier ordered.
The sheriff wouldn’t comment on a report that Paddock may have intended to target another, larger music festival, possibly renting several condo units overlooking the three-day Life is Beautiful pop-rap festival held Sept. 22-24.
ISIS persisted in its full-court press effort to claim responsibility for the attack, with its Amaq news agency, official Nashir channel and affiliated al-Batar Media Foundation all insisting Paddock acted on behalf of the terror group.
At a later news conference, Special Agent in Charge Jill Snider of ATF’s San Francisco Field Division said 47 firearms have been recovered from the hotel room and Paddock’s residences in Verdi and Mesquite, Nev.
“They were purchased in Nevada, Utah, California, and Texas. The gunman purchased rifles, shotguns and pistols. At this time, none of the guns recovered appear to be homemade. There were 12 bump fire stocks identified on the firearms in the hotel room,” she said. “…It is still being determined which firearms were used in the shooting. All of the firearms have been traced. We are still awaiting results from some of the firearms that were located at the Mesquite residence.”
The death toll was adjusted from 59 down to 58, not counting the shooter who died at his own hand.
Asked if the wire transfer could have indicated a terrorism tie to the Philippines, Undersheriff Kevin McMahill told reporters, “We haven’t absolutely ruled anything out in this investigation.”
“I can also confirm we have not ruled that in, so we have a lot more questions than we have answers today,” he added. “…Can we confirm that $100,000 was wired to the Philippines? The answer is no. We have financial subpoenas that the FBI has put out. It remains an active part of the investigation. We certainly want to know the answer to that question.”
Paddock had checked into the 32nd-floor large suite as well as an adjoining standard-size room overlooking the concert venue on Thursday. As a security guard approached his room during the shooting spree, he fired through the door and struck the guard in the leg. Police were on the scene, and Paddock didn’t fire anymore on the crowd below from that point.
A millionaire from real-estate investments, the retired accountant was a high-stakes gambler who often stayed at Vegas hotels. His girlfriend used to work as a high-limit hostess at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa in Reno.