Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock, the man responsible for the deadliest mass shooting on American soil, may have planned additional attacks including a car bombing, US officials said Thursday.
Paddock, a 64-year-old gambler who previously made millions off of real estate investments, lived a “secret life”, investigators say, culminating in the massive shooting attack Sunday night at the Mandalay Bay resort in Las Vegas.
During the attack, Paddock opened fire from the balcony of his 32nd story room at the Mandalay Bay, firing hundreds of rounds with modified automatic rifles, hitting concertgoers gathered at a nearby country music festival.
Police say Paddock specifically requested the room; further evidence that the attack had been carefully planned in advance to maximize casualties.
Clark County Sherrif Joseph Lombardo hinted Wednesday that someone other than Paddock may have been involved in planning and preparing the shooting spree, saying that it could be assumed that Paddock had “some help at some point”.
Lombardo emphasized that Paddock left few clues about the preparations for the attack, his motive, or even the details of his life up to the attack.
“What we know is Stephen Paddock is a man who spent decades acquiring weapons and ammo and living a secret life, much of which will never be fully understood.”
Paddock, who ultimately shot himself as a SWAT team breached the door to his room, apparently had planned to escape after the attack, investigators said.
Police found 23 firearms in Paddock’s hotel room, and another 19 in his home in nearby Mesquite, Nevada.
Evidence of other planned attacks emerged this week, after investigators found that Paddock had rented a condo overlooking another music festival, and had also booked a hotel room in Chicago which overlooks Grant Park, where the massive Lollapalooza music festival draws hundreds of thousands each year.
According to a report by Fox News, police found not only thousands of rounds of ammunition in Paddock’s possession, but also 50 pounds of the explosive material Tannerite and large quantities of fertilizer, which could be used to manufacture a car bomb.