With it having been such a devastating attack, you would think the FBI would have more answers…
The FBI announced Tuesday that it has completed its full investigation into a mass shooting that took place in October of 2017, where a gunman opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on the Route 91 country music festival below, killing dozens and injuring at least 900.
Unfortunately for victims of the massacre, the FBI says they could find no motive in the shooting according to the Associated Press and believed that the high-stakes gambler who filled his “panoramic suite” with an arsenal of weapons was looking only to inflict maximum damage on concertgoers below.
“It wasn’t about MGM, Mandalay Bay or a specific casino or venue,” the FBI special agent in charge of the investigation told the AP. “It was all about doing the maximum amount of damage and him obtaining some form of infamy.”
The shooter opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino midway through the Route 91 festival taking place at a fairground across the street from the resort. In the days prior to his attack, the shooter made several trips back and forth from his home to the hotel, bringing dozens of weapons and hundreds of rounds of ammunition disguised as luggage from his personal stockade up to his suite. He also placed a series of cameras in and around his room to monitor the hotel’s staff and watch for police response.
The night of the incident, he carefully calculated how to inflict maximum damage on the concert below, broke two large windows in his suite, and began firing on the crowd below with a number of weapons modified to act like automatic rifles.
The shooter killed himself as police closed in on his hotel room. He did not leave a suicide note or a manifesto explaining his crimes. His closest associate, his girlfriend, was visiting family in the Philippines and did not know of his plans.
Investigators determined that the shooter planned and executed the attack on his own, without help. According to the FBI’s report, the shooter was a “loner” with no religious or political affiliations and very few personal relationships. He began stockpiling his weapons in apparent anticipation of the attack as early as 2015, spending more than $1.5 million on the guns and ammunition he planned to use, and he considered attacking several gatherings in several different cities before settling on the Route 91 music festival.
In the several months of investigations, including “months of study by agents and behavioral specialists,” agents could not come up with a motive for the killings and only one witness — the shooter’s brother — could provide insight into the shooter’s behavior. He told officials simply that the shooter was “narcissistic, detail-oriented and maybe bored enough with life to plan an attack that would make him famous.”
Others only made vague references to the shooter’s mental state.
“A Reno car salesman told police that in the months before the shooting [that the shooter] told him he was depressed and had relationship troubles, and his doctor offered him antidepressants but told police that [the shooter] would only accept a prescription for anxiety medication,” AP reports.
The FBI is the last investigating authority to conclude its research. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Force concluded its investigation in January and released a host of documents, including police reports, after-incident reports, and notes from detectives. That investigation also yielded no conclusions about the shooter’s reason for opening fire on hundreds of concertgoers.