Las Vegas gunman hired a prostitute before shooting, official says – World

 In U.S.

Investigators believe Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock hired a prostitute in the days leading up to the shooting and were interviewing other sex-trade workers for information, a U.S. official briefed by federal law enforcement officials said.

The official wasn’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

It is unusual to have so few hints of a motive five days after a mass shooting. In previous mass killings or terrorist attacks, killers left notes, social media postings and information on a computer — or even phoned police.

“The lack of a social media footprint is likely intentional,” said Erroll Southers, director of homegrown violent extremism studies at the University of Southern California. “We’re so used to, in the first 24 to 48 hours, being able to review social media posts. If they don’t leave us a note behind or a manifesto behind, and we’re not seeing that, that’s what’s making this longer.”

What officers have found is that Paddock planned his attack meticulously.

An Australian friend of Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock says “we’ll never know” why Paddock carried out the massacre.

The friend, businessman Adam Le Fevre, said about Paddock, “Everything he did seemed to be planned with precision.”

Le Fevre used to be in a relationship with the sister of Paddock’s partner, Marilou Danley. The couples made two trips together to the Philippines, and Le Fevre and Liza Werner visited Danley and Paddock in Las Vegas in 2015.

Paddock was a strong gun rights advocate, said Le Fevre, who made no mention of his other political views in a television interview broadcast on the program A Current Affair on Australia’s Nine Network Friday night.

‘Not a loving relationship’

Le Fevre said it was “not a loving, caring relationship” between Paddock and Danley. “He would talk to her in a condescending way, and while I was concerned, I thought it was part of his nature.”

Danley wouldn’t have known about Paddock’s plans, Le Fevre said. “I believe if she had the slightest inkling something was not right, she would have shared that with her family and would have potentially been able to make a change.”

LASVEGAS-SHOOTING/

Workers on Friday board up a broken window at the Mandalay Bay hotel, where Stephen Paddock fired from during his mass shooting five days earlier. (Chris Wattie/Reuters)

Le Fevre said he and Werner were accommodated in “out of this world, penthouse suites like you wouldn’t believe,” thanks to Paddock’s “high-roller” status with Vegas casinos.

He said that Paddock told him, “As a professional gambler I operate with $1.5 million to $2 million a year and that can generate me anywhere between $200,000 to $300,000 a year.”

Le Fevre also said that Paddock talked about sex-trade workers the casinos offered him, and that he believed some of those offers had been accepted.

Arsenal included tracer bullets

Paddock’s arsenal included tracer rounds that can improve a shooter’s firing accuracy in the dark, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press on Friday.

It wasn’t clear whether Paddock fired any of the illuminated bullets during the highrise massacre Sunday night, but his purchase of 1,000 rounds provided more evidence of how methodically he planned the attack that killed 58 people and injured nearly 500.

Four Canadians are among the dead.

Paddock bought the .308-calibre and .223-calibre tracer ammunition from a private buyer he met at a Phoenix gun show, a law enforcement official not authorized to comment on the investigation said on condition of anonymity.

Tracer rounds illuminate their path so a gunman can hone in on targets at night. But they can also give away the shooter’s position.

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