By Steve Neavling
The FBI is trying to determine whether federal charges are warranted in the case of the 35-year-old man who stabbed three people  on a Portland train after yelling expletives at two women he believed to be Muslims.
Jeremy Christian has already been charged with aggravated murder, intimidation and being a felon in possession of a handgun.
But feds are investigating whether Christian also committed hate crimes and domestic terrorism.
“It will take some time for a review of information and evidence along with consultation with prosecutors to determine whether federal charges will be filed,” Beth Anne Steele, a spokeswoman for the FBI told KATU News .
But a retired FBI agent told KATU those charges may be difficult to prove.
“Hating someone is not a crime,” Greg Vecchi, a retired FBI agent with 29 years of federal investigative experience said.
“You can hate someone, a Christian, a Muslim. You can hate someone who’s black, someone who’s white,” Vecchi said. “That by itself does not trigger the hate crime. What triggers it is taking it a step further and being able to prove that because of that bias that was a motivation or part of a motivation to carry out the crime. … This is where it becomes sticky.”