Federal authorities were trying to determine a motive for the Wednesday California massacre that killed 14 and wounded more than a dozen others and as details emerged more signs point to domestic terrorism, according to reports.
Wearing in body armor and wearing GoPro cameras, Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 27, presumably his wife, shot up a conference room where Farook’s employer, the county health department, was hosting a holiday party.
They fled in a black SUV and hours later died in a gunbattle with police less than 2 miles away.
“They came prepared to do what they did, as if they were on a mission,” San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said.
According to authorities:
The couple had high-powered weapons, some could pierce body armor;
there were three pipe bombs found and detonated in the building where the shooting occurred;
The couple wore GoPro cameras and body armor, and had extra ammunition stuffed into clothing
A search of their home turned up more pipe bombs and explosives attached to remote controlled cars
The attackers invaded the Inland Regional Center about 60 miles east of Los Angeles around 11 a.m., opening fire in a conference area where county health officials were having an employee banquet, said Marybeth Feild, president and CEO of the nonprofit center.
Farook attended the event before leaving — and returning to kill.
Authorities said the couple were each carrying an AR-15 rifle and a pistol – all later determined to have been legally purchased. One of the weapons was of such high caliber that it could pierce body armor, according to the AP.
After searching the SUV, police found “rollout bags” with multiple pipe bombs. The couple also had GoPro cameras strapped to their body armor and wore tactical clothing, including vests stuffed with ammunition magazines.
“That’s a military tactic for a sustained fight,” a source told Fox News.
In addition to the explosives found at the SUV, authorities searched the the Inland Regiona Center, finding three pipe bombs, which were detonated. Authorities searched the couple’s home and discovered multiple pipe bombs in the house, as well as small explosives strapped to remote-controlled cars.
Co-worker Patrick Baccari said he was sitting at the same table as Farook, who suddenly disappeared, leaving his coat on his chair. Baccari said when the shooting started, he sought refuge in a bathroom and suffered minor wounds from shrapnel slicing through the wall.
Baccari described Farook as reserved and said he showed no signs of unusual behavior. Earlier this year he traveled to Saudi Arabia and returned with a wife, later growing a beard, Baccari said.
The FBI is investigating several possible motives, including workplace violence and terrorism, according to David Bowdich, assistant director of the bureau’s Los Angeles office. He did not elaborate.
However, by Thursday morning, others were more definitive on the shooting’s assessment. GOP candidate Ted Cruz said it was more than likely the shooting was terrorism.