New: Gunman came to Las Vegas during Life is Beautiful festival
The shooter's girlfriend is back in the US and being questioned
Marilou Danley said that she was worried her boyfriend, Stephen Paddock, was trying to break up with her when he bought her a cheap ticket to the Philippines about two weeks ago, then wired her money so she could buy her and her family a house there.
But Danley, in a statement read by her attorney, said she didn’t know Paddock had planned to carry out a mass shooting.
In her first public remarks since Paddock killed 58 people and wounded close to 500 others in Las Vegas on Sunday night, Danley said Paddock – a man she described as “kind” – never gave her any clues or any warning “that something horrible like this was going to happen.”
Before Paddock checked into the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino last Thursday, authorities said had secured a rental at The Ogden, a condominium complex, through a private owner on Airbnb, around the time of the Life is Beautiful concert, which took place September 22 to September 25.
“It never occurred to me in any way whatsoever that he was planning violence against anyone,” Danley said in the statement.
Danley, who lived with Paddock in Mesquite, Nevada and was out of the country during the shooting, returned to the United States on Tuesday night from the Philippines and spoke to the FBI and the Las Vegas police, her attorney Matt Lombard confirmed.
“I will cooperate fully with their investigation,” she said in the statement. “Anything I can do to help ease suffering and help in any way, I will do.”
Danley said she was “devastated by the deaths.”
Motive still a mystery
Almost three days after the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history, investigators appear no closer to answering the question: Why?
Danley’s statement sheds little light on what led the 64-year-old retired accountant to fire from his 32nd-floor hotel room window into a crowd of 22,000 concertgoers in the heart of Las Vegas.
Why did he continue firing with an arsenal of weapons for nine to 11 minutes? Paddock’s motive and aims still remain a mystery to investigators.
FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe told CNBC on Wednesday that the lack of a clear motive was a “surprise” in this mass shooting.
“This one is somewhat different than many of the ones we’ve dealt with in the past, because we don’t have any immediately accessible thumbprints that would indicate the shooter’s ideology or motivation, or really what compelled him to get there,” McCabe said.
Police believe Paddock acted alone when he sprayed gunfire on the crowd at the Route 91 Harvest festival.
McCabe told CNN that the FBI was going through Paddock’s communications, financial records, associates and video surveillance – anything to try to piece together the puzzle of his motive.
“We will look at every one of those lanes, pull every possible thread,” he said.
Authorities are hoping to find answers from their interview with Danley on Wednesday.