A law enforcement official told The Associated Press that federal authorities are probing whether the gunman who killed eight people at a Dallas-area mall had expressed an interest in white supremacist ideology. Officials cautioned that the investigation is in its early stages.
The official said federal agents are reviewing social media accounts believed to have been used by Mauricio Garcia, 33, and posts expressing interest in white supremacist and neo-Nazi ideas. subject to anonymity.
When Garcia was killed by police, officials said he was wearing a patch on his chest reading “RWDS”, an acronym for “right wing death squad”, a term popular among right-wing extremist and white supremacist groups.
Authorities said that in addition to reviewing social media posts, federal agents interviewed Garcia’s family and associates, asking them about their ideological beliefs. According to officials, investigators are also reviewing financial records, other online postings believed to have been written by Garcia and other electronic media.
Police Chief Brian Harvey Allen declined to investigate, saying “there really isn’t much” when asked by The Associated Press on Sunday evening.
The Texas Department of Public Safety has identified Garcia as a suspect in the killing of eight people at a Texas outlet mall, a day after an afternoon shopping attack turned into a massacre.
Garcia was accidentally shot by police near a suburban Dallas mall on Saturday.
Law enforcement officials said investigators were searching a Dallas motel near the interstate where Garcia had stayed. Officials said police found several weapons at the scene of Garcia’s murder, including an AR-15 style rifle and a handgun.
Two law enforcement officials said investigators also searched a Dallas home linked to the suspect. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss details of the ongoing investigation.
A woman who lives three floors down in a low brick house said she saw several uniformed officers enter her home between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. Saturday. 7:00 pm
Marsha Alexander said officers were still in the area when she went to sleep at about 9 p.m. They were gone by 10 am on Sunday.
On Sunday afternoon, a woman named Julie was sitting on the porch next to the man who had been searched the day before. She declined to give her last name to an AP reporter, but said she woke up from a nap around 6 p.m. Saturday to see 4 police cars and a large number of officers outside a neighbor’s house.
He said they entered the house and about an hour later were joined by FBI agents and others in plain clothes.
The woman said she didn’t know her neighbors very well, but she knew they were “very polite and very nice people.” She said that the man she knew as the perpetrator was always friendly and would wave or greet when she came and went.
At around 2 pm on Sunday, a person entered the house, which was being searched, but no one responded even after journalists knocked on the door and waited.
President Joe Biden said in a statement that the assailant was wearing tactical gear and fired an AR-15 style weapon. He urged Congress to enact stricter regulations on firearms and ammunition.
“This type of attack is so shocking that it cannot be used. Still, American society has suffered nearly 200 mass shootings this year.
Republicans in Congress said, “We cannot face this pandemic with a shrug.”
The shooting was the latest attack to contribute to an unprecedented rate of mass murder in the United States this year. A week earlier, five people were killed in Cleveland, Texas, after a neighbor told a man not to shoot a child while he was sleeping. , officials said.
There has been an average of about one mass murder per week this year, according to a database created by The Associated Press and USA Today in partnership with Northeastern University.
Information about Allen’s gunman emerged as the community mourned the dead and awaited news of the seven wounded. Officials have not publicly identified those who died.
The Allen Police Department said in a statement that the injured were hospitalized Sunday, three in critical condition and four in stable condition.
Pastor John Mark Caton of Cottonwood Creek Church, about two miles from the mall, offered prayers for the victims, first responders, shoppers and employees during a regular Sunday morning service.