Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock wired $100,000 to an account in his live-in girlfriend’s home country, the Philippines, in the week before he unleashed Sunday’s shooting attack, multiple senior law enforcement officials said Tuesday, according to NBC News.
But while officials have confirmed that Marilou Danley was in the Philippines on Sunday when Paddock opened fire on a crowd attending a country music festival on the Las Vegas Strip, it was not known whether the money was for her or her family or for another purpose.
Danley, 62, who had traveled to Hong Kong on September 25, could fill in some of the blanks when she returns to the United States on Wednesday, the officials said.
Paddock's brother, Eric Paddock, said Tuesday he suspects the money was to take care of Danley.
"One hundred thousand dollars isn't that huge amount of money," he said. "Condemn Steve for gambling. Steve took care of the people he loved. He made me and my family wealthy."
Paddock may have "manipulated her so that she was far away from this and had money," Eric Paddock added.
Meanwhile, senior law enforcement officials told NBC News that Paddock gambled with at least $160,000 in the past several weeks at Las Vegas casinos.
There were 16 Currency Transaction Reports (CTRs) filed for Paddock in recent weeks, the officials said.
The Treasury Department and the IRS mandate that casinos file the reports for "each transaction in currency involving cash-in and cash-out of more than $10,000 in a gaming day."
It could not be determined from the reports whether Paddock won or lost or both on the days in question, but they do show that there were multiple transactions.
Authorities are still trying to identify Paddock’s motive. The Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist organization claimed that Paddock was a convert to Islam and one of their fighters. However, the FBI later debunked the terror group's claims.
In other developments, investigators have also found a sledgehammer and 13 suitcases in the 32nd-floor room in the Mandalay Bay hotel that Paddock used to stage the slaughter, according to an internal law enforcement document seen by NBC News and senior law enforcement officials.
They believe Paddock used the tool to smash the two windows from which he opened fire on the concertgoers below with the arsenal of 23 firearms that was also found in the room. Another cache of 19 firearms was found in Paddock's home in Mesquite, Nevada.
The death toll in the massacre stands at 59, but officials have warned that it could climb. More than 500 people were wounded.