New charges may still be filed in connection with October's Route 91 Music Festival shooting even though the gunman responsible for killing 58 people is dead, a lawyer for Las Vegas police told a judge Tuesday.
Attorney Nicholas Crosby said charges might be possible depending on the outcome of the ongoing police investigation.
“Without naming names, there are potential charges against others as a result of the ongoing investigation?” Clark County District Court Judge Elissa Cadish asked Crosby as he argued to keep police search-warrant records sealed.
“Yes,” said Crosby, who represents the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. “There are charges being investigated.”
Officer Laura Meltzer, a Las Vegas police spokeswoman, told the New York Post the department is “investigating possible criminal charges related to items discovered during the service of search warrants.” She did not name a suspect and said she could not specify the type of charges or what was found without compromising the investigation.
Federal court documents made public Friday showed that as of Oct. 6, the FBI considered Paddock’s girlfriend, Marilou Danley, “the most likely person who aided or abetted Stephen Paddock.”
Danley, who was in the Philippines during the shooting, was questioned by the FBI after returning to the US. Lombardo and Aaron Rouse, FBI agent in charge in Las Vegas, said in October that Danley was not a suspect.
The judge Tuesday didn’t order the Vegas police records released as requested by a lawyer for media organizations, including The Associated Press. Cadish said she might review the documents privately before making them public.
“It only makes sense that a party who is arguing that something has to be kept secret can’t fully explain in public why it has to be kept secret,” she said.
Media companies want the judge to release affidavits showing what police told state judges in order to obtain search warrants immediately after identifying Paddock, who opened fire on a crowd of 22,000 from his 32nd floor hotel suite.
"Despite the death of Stephen Paddock, there remains an active criminal investigation,” one of the police department’s attorneys, Jackie Nichols, wrote in the response, according to KSNV.
The response claimed privacy is needed “during the pre-indictment stage of an investigation,” but did not say if an indictment is looming. Paddock, who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, has been identified as the lone gunman; however, it's unclear if anyone else aided his plot.
Police department lawyers argue that “access would reveal investigative techniques used by law enforcement."
The FBI said in late December the agency probably wouldn't brief the public about the motive of the attack until their report is released sometime before the tragedy’s first anniversary.
Officials have not said and records released so far don’t show what motivated the 64-year-old high-stakes gambler to carry out the attack.