Categories: US News

Attorney General says Mateen investigation moving forward

ORLANDO, Fla. — Although the killer is known, the investigation continues into what motivated and enabled Omar Mateen to carry out the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in interviews Sunday on several news shows that the FBI would release a partial printed transcript of the conversations between gunman Mateen from within the Pulse nightclub and Orlando police negotiators. Armed with a semi-automatic weapon, Mateen went on a bloody rampage at the club June 12 that left 49 people dead and 53 others seriously hurt. Mateen died in a hail of police gunfire after police stormed the venue.

Lynch told ABC’s “This Week” that the top goal while intensifying pressure on IS — the extremist group thought to have inspired Mateen — is to build a complete profile of him in order to help prevent another massacre like Orlando.

“As you can see from this investigation, we are going back and learning everything we can about this killer, about his contacts, people who may have known him or seen him. And we’re trying to build that profile so that we can move forward,” Lynch said.

Lynch said she would be traveling to Orlando on Tuesday to meet with investigators.

Speaking to CBS’ “Face The Nation,” Lynch said that a key goal of the investigation was to determine why Mateen targeted the gay community.

Investigators are still interviewing witnesses, and looking to learn more about Mateen and others who knew him well, including members of his mosque.

A lawyer for the Council of American-Islamic Relations said that the FBI interviewed a man who worshipped at the same mosque as Mateen. Omar Saleh said he sat in on the Friday interview at the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce, the same mosque that Mateen attended near his home. Saleh said the interview lasted about 30 minutes.

Meantime, the wave of support for shooting victims and survivors continued Sunday. Memorial services were scheduled for a number of churches in Orlando and a vigil was to be held Sunday evening. Around the city, people prayed on the street and left balloons, flowers, pictures and posters have been left to honor the victims.

Dozens of people waited several hours at Realm Tattoos to get one of the recently drawn “One Pulse” tattoos etched into their skin. The tattoos are free, but people are encouraged to leave a donation for the victims, which will be distributed by Southern Nights, another Orlando nightclub.

Jonathan Betancourt, 36, the shop’s owner, said he was surprised at how fast the community came together in such a short time.

“We love to tattoo. This is what we live for. Come in, show your love,” Betancourt said. “You always got to pay it forward. This is my way to pay it forward.”

Associated Press
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