Police in Las Vegas now believe that the man who carried out the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history on Sunday had an escape plan and they are not ruling out possible accomplices. While Stephen Paddock's motive is still a mystery, Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo says the gunman must have had some help, CBS News reports.
As more than 100 police officials dig into Paddock's past, trying to find a reason for why the 64-year-old Mesquite, Nev., man would open fire at a music festival, killing 58 and wounding more than 500 others, Lombardo says they have discovered the profile of someone "disturbed and dangerous."
"What we know is that Stephen Paddock is a man who spent decades acquiring weapons and ammo and living a secret life," Lombardo said.
Paddock began bulking up on weapons a year prior to the attack, even buying a gun three days before the shooting. Police say Paddock also had explosives in his car.
"From October 2016 to September 28, 2017, he purchased 33 firearms, majority of them rifles," said ATF special agent in charge Jill Snyder.
After the shooting, authorities found 43 guns belonging to Paddock: 23 in his Mandalay Bay hotel room and 19 in his home. They also found explosives, ammo and other electronic devices in his home.
Asked if police are looking into mental health issues or whether something happened in October 2016 to compel him to begin buying weapons, Lombardo said, "Yes."
Police say an aspect further muddling the effort to find a motive is the fact that Paddock left no suicide note.
Lombardo also said that Paddock intended to escape and survive, but moments after shooting began, an unarmed hotel security guard showed up outside his suite. Paddock fired more than 200 rounds into the hallway, hitting the guard's leg.
"His bravery was amazing because he remained with our officers, provided them with a key pass to access the door and actually continued to help them clear rooms," Lombardo said.
Aviation fuel tanks about 500 yards away from the festival site were also hit — but not penetrated — by bullet fire, according to CBS. It's unclear if Paddock was targeting the tanks.