Motive for Las Vegas music festival massacre will remain a mystery

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The FBI says the main reasons behind the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history will remain a mystery.

On 1 October 2017, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock opened fire from his room in the Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay hotel on a country music festival taking place in the streets below.

By the time the shooting ended 58 people were dead and nearly 900 were injured. Paddock then shot himself as police closed in.

He left no suicide note or political manifesto and in concluding its investigation into the massacre the FBI said it found no “single or clear motivating factor” to explain his actions, other than a possible desire to follow in the the criminal footsteps of his bank robber father.

The findings form part of a report compiled by the agency’s Behaviour Analysis Unit.

It said Paddock was inspired in part by his father’s reputation as a bank robber who was once on the FBI’s most wanted list.

It also found that he shared common traits with other active shooters the FBI has studied, motivated by a complex merging of development issues, stress and interpersonal relationships.

The report said Paddock’s physical and mental health were declining, his wealth had diminished and he struggled with getting older.

It concluded that his “decision to murder people while they were being entertained was consistent with his personality,” but with no physical evidence of a motive, the exact reasons for the killings would remain a mystery.

The head of the FBI’s Las Vegas office, Aaron Rouse, said: “It wasn’t about MGM, Mandalay Bay or a specific casino or venue.

“It was all about doing the maximum amount of damage and him obtaining some form of infamy.”

Agent Rouse continued: “He acted alone. He committed a heinous act. He died by his own hand.

“If he wanted to leave a message, he would have left a message. Bottom line is he didn’t want people to know.”

Characterised by police in the aftermath of the attack as a loner, Stephen Paddock had been stockpiling weapons for a year before the the fateful night.

As a high-stakes gambler, the hotels and casinos of Las Vegas were eager to attract his custom, and he had specifically requested the room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay, with commanding views of the Strip.

He was staying in the £450-a- night suite for free and in the days before the shooting staff let him use a service elevator to take multiple suitcases, which unbeknown to them, contained guns and ammunition, to the room.

On the night of the massacre 22,000 music fans were gathered for the Route 91 Harvest Festival concert across the street from the hotel.

In just 11 minutes Paddock poured more than 1,000 rounds into the crowd, fired from assault-style rifles. Most were fitted with rapid-fire “bump stock” devices and high-capacity magazines. Some had bipod braces and scopes.

Authorities said his guns had been legally purchased.

(c) Sky News 2019: Motive for Las Vegas music festival massacre will remain a mystery

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