Stephen Paddock Mandalay Bay Shooting Investigation Reveals Long-Range Planning, But Still No Motive

Posted on: January 15, 2018, 08:15h. 

Last updated on: January 15, 2018, 08:31h.

Stephen Paddock worked diligently to cover his tracks in the months leading up to his October 1 Mandalay Bay massacre, but in newly released court documents, it appears his girlfriend Marilou Danley was at least tangentially involved in his passion for weaponry.

Stephen Paddock Las Vegas shooting
Stephen Paddock took his mass shooting motive to the grave, but law enforcement hopes his former girlfriend can provide additional details as to why he carried out the attack. (Image: NVDMV/Las Vegas Metro Police/Collage:

Ahead of Her Time

Among more than 300 pages of investigative information made public late last week by US District Judge Jennifer Dorsey, Danley admitted to at times helping Paddock load ammunition magazines. The 63-year-old Filipina told investigators that her fingerprints would probably be found on some of the weapons and ammo seized in Paddock’s Las Vegas Mandalay Bay hotel suite and Mesquite home, but maintains she had no knowledge of the attack.

However, Danley apparently put the pieces together soon after Paddock opened fire from Mandalay Bay’s 32nd-floor on the Route 91 Harvest country music concert.

The documents show that Danley, who was in the Philippines at the time of the massacre, set her Facebook account to private at 12:30 a.m. Pacific time on October 2, just a little more than two hours after Paddock killed 58 people and injured 500 others. At 2:46 a.m., her social media account was deleted. Authorities identified Paddock and released his name to the public at 3:30 am.

The Philippines are 16 hours ahead of Pacific time, meaning Danley’s actions took place in the early afternoon there.

The deadliest mass shooting in modern US history placed further strain on Las Vegas casinos. October and November were the Strip’s only back-to-back monthly gaming decline in 2017. November also marked the sixth consecutive month of visitor volume losses.

Motive Remains Unknown

Danley has never been directly or even indirectly implicated, but remains a person of interest, although FBI spokeswoman Sandra Breault refused to explain where the investigation now stands surrounding any potential involvement. In September, Paddock wired an unknown sum of money to her in the Philippines.

As for Paddock himself, it’s become clear that he wanted his motive to remain hidden. Law enforcement agencies say he meticulously planned his attack, and took numerous steps to make sure the motivation for his actions were concealed.

He deleted nearly every digital footprint he created, used prepaid “burner” cell phones, and had various online accounts to purchase his arsenal of firearms from various internet retailers.

“The methodical nature of the planning employed by Paddock, coupled with his efforts to undermine the preceding investigation, are factors indicative of a level of sophistication which is commonly found in mass casualty events,” one affidavit read.   

Paddock’s brain tissue is currently being studied at Stanford’s Neuroscience Health Center. However, FBI officials say a report that might provide some explanation for a motive isn’t likely to be released before next fall.

A physician had prescribed Paddock the anti-anxiety drug diazepam (brand name Valium) last summer. Side effects of the medication are said to include impulsive and aggressive behavior, but not necessarily premeditated acts.

A 2004 study conducted at the University of Southern Mississippi concluded that while Valium and its generics can lead to aggressive behavior, the drug does “not significantly impair basic cognitive processes.”