The couple suspected of killing 14 people and wounding 21 others in a mass shooting in San Bernardino yesterday was armed to the teeth and on a mission, authorities said.
“There was obviously a mission here, we know that,” said David Bowdich, assistant director in charge of the FBI's Los Angeles area office. “We don't know why.”
Indeed, authorities are still searching for a motive. There are indications that 28-year-old Syed Farook left a morning work meeting or party angry and then returned with his wife to carry out the massacre at the state-run Inland Regional Center.
A townhouse shared by Farook and wife Tashfeen Malik, 27, contained 12 pipe bombs, 4,500 rounds of ammunition and tools to make more bombs, police told reporters today.
At the scene of the San Bernardino shootout yesterday that killed the pair and injured one officer cops said they found 1,600 rounds of ammunition ready to be used by the duo.
The pair, dressed in black and wearing masks or some kind of facial covering, carried assault-type rifles and handguns, police said.
“They were equipped and could have committed another shooting but we intercepted them before that,” said San Bernardino police Chief Jarrod Burguan.
Authorities all but ruled out their earlier belief that a third suspect was part of the violent spree. A man detained near the shootout scene was not connected to the shooters, police said.
Today both NBC News and CNN reported that Farook had been in touch with terror suspects. President Obama today said the shooters might have had “mixed motives.”
Authorities told CNN that Farook had made contact, via phone and social media, with people being investigated for terrorism. Federal investigators described the communications as “soft connections.”
Farook, who was born in the United States, met Malik, who's Pakistani, on a trip to Saudi Arabia a few years ago, according to reports. He brought her back on a so-called fiancée visa to marry her.
Before the shooting, which happened about 11 a.m. yesterday, the couple dropped off their 6-month-old child with Farook's mother, telling her they had a doctor's appointment, police said.
They brought a remote-controlled bomb to the party, but it never went off, police said. Authorities said a total of three devices, apparently explosive, were found in the aftermath of the shootings.
At the conclusion of the pursuit of the suspects' SUV, a Ford Expedition with Utah plates that was rented locally a few days before, the pair fired 76 rounds at officers, Burguan said.
Cops returned fire with 380 rounds, killing both suspects.
“If you look at the preplanning that went into this incident, it's apparent,” said the FBI's Bowdich. “It is going to take time to answer why.”
Authorities today said they had identified the deceased. It was expected many of those names — some family members have already ID'd victims to the press — would start to become public tonight.