The police have revealed Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock's disturbing internet history
On October 1st, Stephen Paddock committed the deadliest mass shooting in US history, killing 58 people injuring a further 546.
When his identity was first revealed, police struggled to find a motive. As far as everybody could tell, Paddock had no previous criminal convictions, no military history, and no reason to commit a terror attack. Even those who knew him believed that his actions were completely out of character, and his girlfriend, Marilou Danley, released a statement claiming she had no idea what Paddock had been planning.
"I knew Stephen Paddock as a kind, caring, quiet man. I loved him and hoped for a quiet future together with him," she said. "He 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.
However, details that have been released about Paddock's search history imply that he had been planning the horrific attack for some time.
Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, an anonymous investigator involved in the case revealed that Paddock's browser history included searches for techniques used by the Las Vegas police and SWAT teams to break into a shooter's room.
Paddock clearly used this information, as reports released shortly after the attack took place stated that the shooter had taken careful measures to prevent any entry to the hotel room he was occupying at the Mandalay Bay Hotel, and was monitoring police activity so that he would know when he was about to be apprehended. Sergeant Joseph Bitsko, who was present at the scene, stated that "[Paddock] had screwed shut the door with a piece of metal and some screws."
Before the room was breached, police had been warned that the scene might be booby trapped, as wires from a room service cart were noticed to be leading underneath Paddock's door. "Initially, I was thinking, 'This is a booby trap, it’s going to explode,'" said Bitsko. "It turned out to be cameras. It was like a deadly game of hide-and-seek."
Davide Newton, another officer who was called out to the attack, stated:
"[Paddock] knew we were coming and we were going to have to come through. We didn’t know where he was going to be in that room ... His plan might have been to shoot it out with us because there was a rifle on a bipod near the door, and just the amount of ammunition and weapons he had, he could have held us off for hours."
The hard drive to Paddock's computer has not yet been found, but it is believed that the gunman removed it from his laptop after he committed the attack. Without this, police are still left with very few clues about what exactly Paddock was up to in the days and weeks leading up to the horrific event, and his motive is still very much up for speculation.
This is despite rigorous investigations into Paddock's finances, political beliefs, social behaviour, and political views.
"We still have a lot of resources devoted to the investigation," said Laura Meltzer of the LAPD. "We still have people working overtime and around the clock on it."
The search for a motive continues.