A new bombshell development has surfaced in the continuing investigation into the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history: The hard drive of a laptop belonging to Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock is missing, say sources close to the probe.
As reported by ABC News, police and other investigators found the laptop in Paddock’s 32nd-story Mandalay Bay hotel room, from which he rained fire down on a crowd of 22,000 people attending an outdoor country music festival across from the famed casino/hotel Oct. 1. Reports said 58 people were killed in the attack and more than 500 wounded.
Sources told the news network that authorities were hoping to find some sort of clue, or motive, on the laptop, but are now stymied because it’s hard drive has been taken.
What’s also odd is that, according to authorities, Paddock had purchased software that is designed to wipe all data from hard drives, though it’s not clear whether the software was used on the laptop because authorities can’t locate the hard drive.
What makes this new development particularly odd is that it coincides with previous reports that the FBI confiscated cellphones and other personal devices from eyewitnesses of the shooting and wiped them clean before returning them.
YourNewsWire reported that one female eyewitness wrote about the incident in a Facebook post:
A bunch of people that worked the Route 91 said they got their cell phones back today. They all said that all their phones are completely wiped clean! All messages and info from that weekend are completely gone. Anyone else experience this? A few different people who were vendors there are all saying the same thing.
Route 91 is the concert venue Paddock attacked.
A manager from the venue also confirmed that at least some of the content on his laptop was wiped by the FBI.
“Of course,” he wrote on Facebook. “It’s an active federal crime scene. They can wipe it clean. I was the beverage manager for the entire event.”
Other publications including Infowars reported that they were contacted by others who told the same story.
“The fact that all the information relating to the massacre has been deleted is sure to prompt further claims of a cover-up,” YourNewsWire reported.
Conservative columnist Ann Coulter has even written about the inconsistencies in the narrative regarding the shooting given by local police, which is also making people more suspicious:
I don’t know what happened — and, apparently, neither do the cops — but it’s kind of odd that we keep being told things that aren’t true about the Las Vegas massacre, from the basic timeline to this weird insistence that Paddock made a good living at gambling.
She went on to point out a number of irregularities and issues that remain unanswered, such as why Paddock checked into his Mandalay Bay hotel room days earlier than police initially said he did; why was he wearing gloves if he had planned to commit suicide all along (police said they determined that he planned to survive the attack); and why the shooter fired “200 rounds at a security guard who was checking on someone else’s room before beginning his massacre” [emphasis added]. (Related: Police: Vegas gunman shot security guard several minutes before rampage)
There are other unexplained irregularities too:
— One former CIA and intelligence officer said that his sources have told him police already know there was a political motive behind his rampage, but they are loathe to announce it yet. Retired Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer, a Fox News contributor, said, “My sources tell me they reviewed the information on those videos and there are things that do lay out some understanding of his motivation,” he said.
— Las Vegas police also said that they had discovered Paddock “lead a secret double life,” which could also point to a possible motivate behind the attack.
J.D. Heyes is also editor-in-chief of The National Sentinel.