Las Vegas Sheriff: Paddock Likely Had Help

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Nevada's Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo disclosed new details about Stephen Paddock, the gunman who committed the most fatal mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Lombardo told reporters he had reason to believe the suspect might have had an accomplice in carrying out his rampage in Las Vegas.

On Oct. 1, 64-year-old Paddock opened fire from the window of his room on the 32nd floor the Mandalay Bay hotel, killing 58 people and injuring more than 500 others attending a concert on the Las Vegas Strip. The gunman killed himself as law enforcement breached his hotel room. Investigators found nearly 50 guns belonging to Paddock in three different locations.

On Oct. 5, Lombardo stated during a press conference that authorities were still unable to determine Paddock's motive.

"What we know is that Stephen Paddock is a man who spent decades acquiring weapons and ammo and living a secret life, much of which will never be fully understood," Lombardo said, according to Reuters.

The sheriff added that he suspected Paddock may have had help in planning the mass shooting.

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"Do you think this was all accomplished on his own?" Lombardo said. "You've got to make the assumption he had to have some help at some point."

Authorities disclosed that Paddock had at least three rifles outfitted with sniper scopes when he attacked the concert attendees. The gunman also fitted 12 rifles with bump stocks, legal devices that enabled him to fire semiautomatic firearms at an unyielding clip, The New York Times reports.

The National Rifle Association announced that it would support congressional action to regulate bump stocks following Paddock's attack.

"The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semiautomatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations," the organization said in a statement.

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Lombardo noted during his press conference that Paddock had placed several surveillance cameras around his hotel room and that the gunman had scrawled down a note before taking his own life.

"This is my assumption, only my assumption ... I believe, because of his countermeasures placed in the peephole and in the hallway ... [Paddock] was doing everything possible to figure out how he could escape at that point," Lombardo said.

On Oct. 3, Marilou Danley, Paddock's girlfriend, returned to the U.S. from the Philippines, where she had been visiting family. She was met by FBI agents when she landed in Los Angeles and has been described as a person of interest in the case.

"[Paddock] never said anything to me or took any action that I was aware of that I understood in any way to be a warning that something horrible like this was going to happen," Danley said in a statement.

Danley, an Australian citizen, had flown from the U.S. to Manila on Sept. 25 after Paddock bought her a plane ticket. The gunman later wired $100,000 to her in the Philippines. Danley reportedly believed the money transfer was a signal he was breaking up with her.

Special Agent Aaron Rouse of the FBI's Las Vegas division has warned the public against speculating about Paddock's motivations until investigators gathered more evidence.

"We like to deal with facts," Rouse told HuffPost. "Theories are great and everyone can have a theory, but we need to deal with facts, the sheriff needs to deal with facts. We are reliant on that to do our jobs. That's what we will focus on."

Sources: The New York Times, Reuters via CNBC, HuffPost via Yahoo News / Featured Image: Jon Sullivan/Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: Vrysxy/Wikimedia Commons, Kris1123/Wikimedia Commons

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