Las Vegas Sun

February 24, 2018

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Las Vegas shooter’s online searches included venues in Los Angeles, Boston

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METRO POLICE via AP

This October 2017 photo shows the interior of the Mandalay Bay hotel room, part of the evidence images included in a preliminary report showing the interior of Stephen Paddock’s 32nd floor room.

Stephen Paddock appeared to search online for the ideal spot to carry out a mass shooting almost as early as seven months before the Oct. 1 massacre on the Las Vegas Strip.

Law enforcement searched through 1,965 digital leads in its investigation of Paddock, reviewing approximately 21,560 hours of video and looking through 251,099 images obtained by Metro Police and the FBI. Analysis found there were 529 sightings of Paddock.

That information was released Friday in an 81-page preliminary report related to the shooting, where Paddock opened fire on a crowd of 22,000 concertgoers at the Route 91 country music festival from the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay, killing 58 and injuring hundreds more.

Paddock searched areas around Venice Beach in Southern California and Fenway Park in Boston via Google Maps on May 18. Additionally, on May 18, Paddock searched "How crowded does Santa Monica Beach get," and "biggest open-air concert venues in the U.S."

Other queries searched via Google Maps include: Blandford Street Station, Boston Hotel Buckminster, Boston arts Academy in Boston. He also searched The Fairmont Miramar Hotel and its attached bar the Bungalow in Santa Monica. The Fairmont Miramar overlooks the popular Santa Monica State Beach a few blocks away from the Santa Monica Pier.

Several cameras were discovered in and around the room, with one tapped to the peephole of his room’s door, and two on a room service cart in the hallway, one facing in each direction. Some of the cameras were linked to laptop computers and another to a baby monitor, where Paddock could view the live feeds.

Metro recovered four laptop computers and three cellphones in his two rooms, and gave those devices to the FBI to be forensically analyzed.

Paddock's internet searches on those computers provide a glimpse into the mind that meticulously planned the mass shooting. He searched various terms related to guns and outdoor areas and events.

Between Sept. 4-5, Paddock made a series of searches relating to Las Vegas and weapons.

Searches included: Las Vegas rentals, Las Vegas Ogden for rent, Life is Beautiful expected attendance, Life is Beautiful single day tickets, SWAT weapons, SWAT Las Vegas and "do police use explosives," among others.

The report stated Paddock stayed in three different units at the Ogden downtown during the time of the Life is Beautiful festival.

Other Las Vegas related searches include, "How tall is the Mandalay Bay," Las Vegas Academy for Performing Arts, Excalibur, El Cortez, Cashman Field, Discovery Children’s Museum and the National Hot Rod Association schedule, among the various terms.

Police are still searching for a motive for the unprovoked attack, centering on Paddock's recent loss of wealth, according to Clark County Sherriff Joe Lombardo. He said an official motive might not ever come to light.