Marilou Danley, the 62-year-old girlfriend of Las Vegas mass shooter Stephen Paddock, has been “flagged” by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, putting her on a United States government “watch list” in case she tries to leave the country or take any flight at all, according to a report by ABC News on Tuesday. At the same time, Clark County, Nevada, Sheriff Joe Lombardo revealed at a press briefing that his investigation had not cleared Danley of wrongdoing in the mass shooting that killed 58 and wounded more than 500 more.
In a briefing that appeared to cast a new cloud of confusion over the investigation into why Paddock opened fire on a crowd of concertgoers in Las Vegas on October 1, Lombardo said that Paddock’s brother Eric Paddock, who gave a series of media interviews in the immediate aftermath of the massacre, has also yet to be cleared of wrongdoing, according to a report in The Las Vegas Review-Journal newspaper.
Not yet being cleared, however, does not mean that the two are currently suspected of any wrongdoing in connection with Paddock’s activities leading up to and during the horrific shooting spree. Investigators say that based on information they have gathered so far, they believe Danley did not know of Paddock’s plans to carry out the mass shooting and played no role in the attack, according to the ABC report.
The new information came just hours before a startling revelation about how much worse the Las Vegas mass shooting could have been if Paddock had carried out what now appears to be his full plan to cause as many deaths as possible. According to a CNN report, Paddock fired “incendiary rounds,” that is, exploding bullets, at a large tank containing up to 43,000 barrels of jet fuel.
Investigators, who found two such exploding bullets in an area near the tank and more in the hotel room that Paddock used as a sniper’s perch, say that Paddock intended to cause a massive explosion that could have killed dozens, even hundreds more.
In Tuesday’s press briefing, Lombardo contradicted several reports about Paddock’s behavior and his possible motives for the mass shooting that had circulated in the media over the nine days since the massacre took place. While earlier reports had suggested that Paddock had hired a prostitute for at least one night during what turned out to be his final stay in Las Vegas, Lombardo said that investigators had no evidence to support that claim and that Paddock interacted with few other people during his week in Vegas prior to the shooting, the Review-Journal reported.
In another revelation that appears to cast more doubt on Paddock’s motives and his activities, Paddock had no gambling debts that police have been able to uncover. Earlier reports have said that Paddock often gambled up to $1 million in a single night.
Also contradicting reports that Paddock’s mental health had been crumbling in the months leading up to the mass shooting, Danley told police that she saw no signs of any psychological issues or changes in Paddock and had no clue that he was planning an act of large-scale violence, Lombardo said.
— TODAY’S TMJ4 (@tmj4) October 11, 2017
Lombardo said that he now believed that Paddock’s motives for the deadly shooting might never be known. “All those things that you would expect to find, we have not found,” the sheriff said.
Lombardo on Monday apparently turned the investigation upside down when he revealed that hotel security guard Jesus Campos was shot by Paddock a full six minutes before the gunman opened fire from his 32nd-floor hotel window on the crowd below, rather than in the minutes after he stopped firing on the crowd.
The new timeline raised questions about why police were unable to locate Paddock and stop the shooting, suggesting a possible breakdown in communication between hotel security and police. But on Tuesday, a spokesperson for MGM Resorts International, which owns the Mandalay Bay hotel where Paddock made his sniper’s nest, said the company believes that the revised timeline “may not be accurate.”
[Featured Images by Eric Paddock/Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department/AP Images]