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Tag: mass shooting

FBI Missed Critical 48-Hour Window to Open Church Shooter’s iPhone

IPhone 6By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI failed to ask Apple to help unlock the iPhone of the Texas church shooter in the two days following the massacre that left 26 people dead.

Apple, which has refused to offer help unlocking encrypted phones in the past, said it offered to assist the FBI but agents never reached out, Business Insider reports

“Our team immediately reached out to the FBI after learning from their press conference Tuesday that investigators were trying to access a mobile phone,” Apple said in a statement. “We offered assistance and said we would expedite our response to any legal process they send us.”

The phone, instead, was sent to a lab for analysis.

As a result, the FBI lost 48 hours without locking the device by using the finger prints of the shooter, Devin Kelley, if the phone was fingerprint-access enabled.

That’s significant because iPhones locked with a fingerprint for 48 hours or more require the user’s passcode.

The FBI declined to comment.

Not Again? FBI Unable to Unlock Cell Phone of Texas Church Shooter

Photo via FBI

Photo via FBI

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Here we go again?

The FBI has been unable to unlock the encrypted cellphone of the Texas church shooter, mirroring similar difficulties trying to access the locked phone of a San Bernardino mass shooter more than a year ago.

The phone of Devin Kelley could provide critical information about his motive and whether anyone else was involved or knew in advance that he planned to unload his firearms inside a church in Texas. The phone has been sent to an FBI lab for analysis.

Phone encryption has been a source of frustration for the FBI, which tried to force Apple to help it access the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone last year. Professional hackers eventually helped the FBI unlock the phone

Congress has been reluctant to enact legislation that would force technology companies to help open the phones of criminal suspects.

“It highlights an issue you’ve all heard about before. With the advance of the technology and the phones and the encryption, law enforcement is increasingly not able to get into these phones,” Christopher Combs, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s San Antonio division, said, according to the Associated Press. 

Combs added: “We’re working very hard to get into that phone, and that will continue until we find an answer.”

Air Force Error Allowed Texas Mass Shooter with Violent History to Buy Firearms

Church shooter Devin Kelley

Church shooter Devin Kelley

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Texas church gunman who killed 26 people and wounded 20 more worshipers at a Texas church on Sunday should never have been able to buy the guns he used in the massacre.

But the Air Force failed to notify the FBI that Devin Kelley was sentenced to a year of confinement after a court martial found him guilty on two charges of domestic assault. According to numerous reports, Kelley brutally assaulted his wife, threatened her multiple times with loaded and unloaded guns and cracked his stepson’s skull. 

The Air Force failed to enter the domestic violence conviction into the National Criminal Investigation Center database, which would have prohibited him from buying a gun legally.

That omission allowed Kelley to pass background checks to buy four guns, some of which were used in the mass shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs.

Several investigation are underway to determine why the Air Force never flagged Kelley.

Authorities also revealed Monday that Kelley was involved in a dispute with his mother-in-law, who attended the church in the past but was not there Sunday.

“He expressed anger towards his mother-in-law,”  Freeman Martin, a spokesman for the Texas department of public safety, said at a press conference on Monday. “This was not racially motivated, it wasn’t over religious beliefs.”

Investigators Search for Motive in Mass Shooting at Texas Church

Church shooter Devin Kelley

Church shooter Devin Kelley

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Investigators are trying to determine what motivated a 26-year-old former Air Force member to dress in black commando gear and a tactical vest and open fire at the First Baptist Church in a small Texas town, killing 26 people Sunday.

Among those killed were eight family members.

The gunman fled in his car after a local man began shooting at him, causing the suspect to run off the roadway, where authorities believe he took his own life or was shot in an exchange of gunfire with the armed resident, the Washington Post reports

“There was some gunfire exchanged, I believe, on the roadway also, and then [the gunman’s vehicle] wrecked out,” Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt told CBS News. “At this time we believe that he had a self-inflicted gunshot wound, after he wrecked out.”

Few details were immediately known about the shooter, identified as Devin Kelley, who was released from the Air Force with a bad-conduct discharge in 2014. At one point, Kelley had seven as a logistical readiness airman stationed at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, according to Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek.

FBI Gets Closer to Identifying Motive Behind Las Vegas Shooter

Stephen Paddock

Stephen Paddock

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI believes it is closer to determining what motivated Stephen Paddock to spray bullets into a crowd of concert attendees in Las Vegas, killing 58 and injuring hundreds of others.

But investigators said there is “absolutely” no evidence the 64-year-old man is tied to domestic terror or hate groups, the Las Vegas Sun reports

They have a theory but aren’t ready to share it.

“We do know a lot more (about Paddock) than when we started,” Rouse told the Las Vegas Sun Wednesday afternoon. “I feel like we are going in the correct direction to understand why this happened.”

As far s a motive, Rouse indicated, “When we’re done, we’ll have as close to an answer on the why as you’re going to be able to come to without talking with (Paddock).”

Investigators have pursued hundreds of tips.

FBI: Sandy Hook Shooter Interested in Pedophilia, Contemplated Attack for 1+ Year

Adam Lanza, the mass shooter at Sandy Hook Elementary.

Adam Lanza, the mass shooter at Sandy Hook Elementary.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The shooter who killed 20 children and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012 was interested in child pedophilia and began contemplating the attack as early as March 2011, according to newly released FBI documents.

The records indicate there’s no evidence that Adam Lanza acted on his interest in pedophilia.

“The shooter did not ‘snap,’ but instead engaged in careful, methodical planning and preparation,” the FBI’s behavioral analysis unit wrote, according to the Associated Press. “The shooter was fascinated with past shootings and researched them thoroughly. The shooter shared many similar characteristics and behaviors with other active shooters.” 

A document by the behavioral analysis unit indicated that an unidentified woman who had an “online relationship” with Lanza for two years told the FBI that Lanza expressed interest in pedophilia and said it could be “possibly beneficial to both parties.”

The FBI source also said Lanza was obsessed with mass murders and ha meticulously documented them on a spreadsheet.

How FBI, ATF Are Assisting Las Vegas Authorities Investigate Mass Shooting

fbigunbadgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI and ATF are assisting local law enforcement in Las Vegas determine whether the gunman responsible for the mass shooting during the music festival acted alone.

While local authorities are taking the lead in the investigation, the federal agencies are helping gather evidence.

“When you have a mass shooting scene like Las Vegas, you are talking about a lot of manpower,” Dana Ridenour, a retired FBI agent who was part of its Evidence Response Team that traveled to New York following the 9/11 attacks, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

“You have to bag and collect all that evidence,” Ridenour said.

Federal authorities would take the lead if the shooting was considered a terrorist attack. Since it’s not, the feds are taking a supportive role.

“The FBI is vital in the assistance of this investigation,” Sheriff Joe Lombardo said moments after the Oct. 1 tragedy occurred. “They are providing federal resources available in this investigation.”

What Law Enforcement Still Doesn’t Know about Las Vegas Shooter

Stephen Paddock

Stephen Paddock

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Eleven days after Stephen Paddock sprayed bullets into a large gathering of people at a country music festival in Las Vegas, investigators still have important, unanswered questions.

What motivated Paddock to kill 58 people and injure hundreds of others? Why did he stop shooting? Why did it take police 18 minutes to find Paddock? How painstaking was his planning.

Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said authorities are trying to “draw the most accurate picture” possible of the shooting and what led up to it.

“There’s more than 20,000 moving parts associated with this investigation and it takes time,” he told CNN affiliate KLAS on Wednesday.

For reasons that remain a mystery to authorities, Paddock appeared to have stopped shooting after 10 minutes, even before authorities approached him.