As they try to determine a motive for the attack, federal authorities are looking into whether the shooter who killed eight people at a mall in the Dallas region displayed an interest in white supremacist ideology, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press.
The official expressed concern that the inquiry was just getting started.
The official, who could not discuss specifics of the investigation publicly and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity, said federal agents have been looking into social media accounts they think Mauricio Garcia, 33, used and posts that suggested interest in white supremacist and neo-Nazi ideas.
In addition, the official claimed that Garcia wore a patch on his chest when he was killed by police that read “RWDS,” an acronym for the term “Right Wing Death Squad,” which is popular among right-wing extremists and white supremacy groups.
The official said that federal officials have spoken with Garcia’s family and friends and reviewed his social media posts to learn more about his political views.
According to the official, investigators also look at money records, other internet postings they think Garcia made, and other electronic media.
Garcia has been named as a suspect by the authorities in the shooting deaths of eight people at a Texas outlet mall, but his motivation remains unknown as of Sunday, a day after the attack that turned an afternoon of shopping into a massacre.
Garcia, 33, was fatally shot by a police officer who just happened to be nearby the suburban Dallas mall on Saturday.
Three law enforcement officials who spoke to The Associated Press identified Garcia as the gunman. The authorities discussed specifics of an ongoing inquiry under the condition of anonymity.
Two of the officials stated that investigators investigated a property in the Dallas vicinity connected to the suspect and one of the officials claimed that investigators searched the nearby motel where Garcia had slept.
The person added that after Garcia was killed, police discovered numerous firearms at the scene, including an AR-15-style rifle and a handgun.
After the assault, the authorities provided little details. They offered no details regarding individuals who were killed, including their names.
The shooting was the most recent incident to add to this year’s extraordinary number of mass homicides in the United States.
Just a week prior, five people in Cleveland, Texas, were shot and killed when a neighbor requested a man to stop shooting his gun while a baby slept, according to investigators.
The Allen shooter’s name came to light as the neighborhood grieved the victims and awaited updates on the seven injured.
At his weekly service, senior pastor John Mark Caton of Cottonwood Creek Church, about two miles from the mall, prayed for the victims, first responders, and the patrons and workers who “walked out past things they should never have seen.”