October 3, 2017 The investigation into the deadliest shooting attack in U.S. history continues on Tuesday. Investigators continue to to search for evidence at multiple crime scenes, including the concert site, the shooter’s two room hotel suite, homes in Mesquite and Reno and a vehicle he left with the hotel valet. So far, police have discovered an arsenal of guns, explosives and several thousand rounds of ammo.
A search of the suspected gunman, Stephen Paddock‘s 32nd-floor suite at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino turned up 23 weapons, including multiple rifles with scopes on them. Investigators also found several pounds of ammonium nitrate, a material used to make explosives in his car.
On Monday morning, the Islamic State’s official Amaq News Agency reported that the Las Vegas shooter was a “soldier” of the group and had converted to Islam months ago. The FBI quickly disputed the claim, arguing there is no evidence linking the shooter to any international terrorist organization.
Authorities admit they have not established a motive for the mass shooting, but refuse to call it an act of terrorism. Several pounds of ammonium nitrate and tannerite, both components that can be used to make powerful explosives in Paddock’s vehicle in the hotel parking lot. The fertilizer compound was used in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
In the more than fifteen years since the United States Department of Homeland Security was established, the agency has yet to establish one clear definition of terrorism. Many states, including Nevada have enacted their own terrorism laws. The state of Nevada has a statute that defines terrorism as “any act that involves the use or attempted use of sabotage, coercion or violence which is intended to cause great bodily harm or death to the general population.”
Cynthia Hodges holds a M.A. in Political Science from NEIU in Chicago, Illinois and a Post-Grad Professional Certificate in Disaster and Terrorism Management from University of North Carolina -Chapel Hill. In addition to a successful writing career, Cynthia is in the process of writing a book on the role of private security guards as first responders in the post 9/11 America. "My career has been a balance of security and education, and my passion for Homeland Security while protecting individual's Constitutional rights has grown as a result of the two."