WHAT'S HAPPENING: Gunman's secret life stymies investigation

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Investigators trying to figure out the Las Vegas gunman's state of mind have so far been stymied by the secret life he appeared to lead before the attack.

Stephen Paddock's live-in girlfriend described him as a "kind, caring, quiet man" with whom she hoped to spend her future. She said she had no idea he was planning a massacre on the Las Vegas Strip on Sunday that left 58 people dead and nearly 500 injured.

More about the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history:

THE INVESTIGATION

Authorities believe Paddock had an escape plan, though he fatally shot himself as police closed in on him inside his luxury suite. Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo declined to elaborate on why investigators believe he intended to survive.

Lombardo said Wednesday that Paddock had 1,600 rounds of ammunition and several containers of an explosive commonly used in target shooting that totaled 50 pounds (23 kilograms) in his car. But it wasn't clear what, if anything, Paddock planned with the explosives, he said.

In the days and months before he mowed down concertgoers from his high-rise hotel suite, Paddock booked rooms overlooking two other music festivals in Las Vegas and Chicago, authorities said. They gave no details on what his intentions might have been

Eric Paddock called his 64-year-old multimillionaire brother a "private guy." As for what triggered the massacre, Eric Paddock said, "Something happened that drove him into the pit of hell."

THE GIRLFRIEND

Marilou Danley, Paddock's girlfriend, returned to the U.S. from the Philippines on Tuesday and was interviewed Wednesday by FBI agents in Los Angeles.

The 62-year-old said in a statement read by her lawyer that Paddock had sent her to see family in her native Philippines weeks earlier, and she was still overseas at the time of the attack. She said he wired her money so she could buy a house for her family, and she was initially pleased but later feared it was a way to break up with her.

The pair met at a casino while she was a high-limit hostess for Club Paradise at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa in Reno, his brother Eric Paddock told The Washington Post.

Danley's sisters in Australia said in a TV interview that she was a "good person" who would have stopped Paddock had she been there and known about the plot.

Nevada gambling regulators say they're sorting through documents for clues about him and Danley.

THE VICTIMS

The 58 people slain in the attacks included a father of six, a man who died in his boyfriend's arms and a university student who was studying health care management.

Nearly 500 others were injured. About 150 are still hospitalized, with about 50 in critical condition Wednesday night, hospital officials said.

The injured ended up in 13 hospitals scattered across southern Nevada, with most of them treated and released. One of them,Braden Matejka , of British Columbia, Canada, left the hospital Wednesday for a 22-hour road trip home with his girlfriend and parents. He told The Associated Press he couldn't fly back to Canada because he had been shot in the head.

TIGHTENED GUN LAWS?

Senior congressional Republicans said Wednesday they were open to considering legislation banning "bump stocks" like Paddock used to convert semi-automatic rifles into fully automated weapons.

The comments from lawmakers including the No. 2 Senate Republican, John Cornyn of Texas, marked a surprising departure from GOP lawmakers' general antipathy to any kind of gun regulations. But they were far from a guarantee of a path forward for the new legislation by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., especially with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan making clear their priorities are elsewhere.

Other GOP legislators who voiced interest in banning "bump stocks" included Sens. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and John Thune of South Dakota.

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For complete coverage of the Las Vegas shooting, click here: https://apnews.com/tag/LasVegasmassshooting.


Did Las Vegas gunman target other music festivals?

By KEN RITTER, MICHAEL BALSAMO and SADIE GURMAN ,  Associated Press

LAS VEGAS (AP) — In the days and months before he mowed down concertgoers from his high-rise hotel suite, gunman Stephen Paddock booked rooms overlooking two other music festivals in Las Vegas and Chicago, authorities said.

His movements raised the possibility he was contemplating attacks at those sites.

The disclosures came as investigators struggled for a fourth day to explain what led the 64-year-old high-stakes gambler to open fire Sunday night on an open-air country music festival from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel casino. He killed 58 people and injured nearly 500 before taking his own life.

Authorities have been trying to reconstruct Paddock's movements leading up to the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

In early August, Paddock booked a room at Chicago's 21-story Blackstone Hotel that overlooked the park where the Lollapalooza music festival was being held, a law enforcement official said Thursday.

The official said no evidence has been found that Paddock ever came to Chicago that weekend. Lollapalooza draws hundreds of thousands of music fans every year to Grant Park.

The official was not authorized to discuss the case publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity after being briefed on the investigation. Paddock's booking of the hotel room was first reported by TMZ.

Also, the weekend before the Las Vegas bloodbath, Paddock rented via Airbnb — and checked into — a high-rise condo in a Las Vegas building that overlooked the Life is Beautiful alternative music festival, Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said Tuesday.

He gave no details on what Paddock was up to. The music festival featured Chance the Rapper, Muse, Lorde and Blink-182.

When Paddock checked into the Mandalay Bay on Sept. 28, he requested an upper-floor room with a view of the Route 91 Harvest music festival, according to a person who has seen hotel records turned over to investigators and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Investigators trying to establish the motive for the attack have had little more to chase than hints and shadows.

While other mass killers have left a trail of plain-sight clues that helped investigators quickly understand what drove them to violence, Paddock led a low-key, private life. He had no known criminal record and almost no close friends or social media presence.

The No. 2 official in the FBI said Wednesday he was surprised investigators had not uncovered more.

"There's all kinds of things that surprise us in each one of these events. That's the one in this one, and we are not there yet," FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe said. "We have a lot of work to do."

Investigators have zeroed in on a weapon-buying binge Paddock went on in the year before the attack. They wonder if he had some sort of mental break at the time that drove him to start making plans for mass murder.

They are also looking at his gambling habits and checking records for any disputes he might have had with casinos or fellow patrons.

On Wednesday, FBI agents trying to understand his state of mind questioned his girlfriend, 62-year-old Marilou Danley, who was out of the country during the attack. She was visiting her native Philippines.

She said she had no inkling of his murderous plans.

"He never said anything to me or took any action that I was aware of that I understood in any way to be a warning that something horrible like this was going to happen," she said in a statement read by her lawyer.

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Gurman reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Don Babwin in Chicago; Brian Melley and Andrew Dalton in Los Angeles, Regina Garcia Cano and Michelle Price in Las Vegas; and Richard Lardner, Eric Tucker and Tami Abdollah in Washington contributed to this report.