Authorities in Texas said the shooter in Sunday’s massacre was not likely motivated by racial or religious beliefs.
“One thing everybody wants to know is why did this happen,” Freeman Martin, regional director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, said Monday at a press conference. “It’s a senseless crime but we can tell you that there was a domestic situation going on within this family. The suspect’s mother-in-law attended this church. We know that he had made threatening — that he had sent threatening text from him and we can’t go into details about that domestic situation that is continue to be investigated.”
Mr. Martin stressed that the crime was not politically, racially or religiously motivated, but appeared to be family related. Local authorities said they recovered three firearms and the suspect was wearing a ballistic vest.
The suspected shooter, Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, opened fire Sunday on a church in Sutherland Springs, killing at least 26 people and injuring another 20. Mr. Kelley, was a member of the Air Force from 2010 to 2014 and was court-martialed for assaulting his spouse and child in 2012.
The suspect’s motives remain unknown at this time, but his in-laws attended the church, though they were not there Sunday. He later died from a gunshot wound in his vehicle after fleeing the scene, according to reports.
FBI special agent Christopher Combs said his team is helping local authorities with technical support, saying some evidence had been sent to the FBI lab in Quantico, Virginia.
“We are here in support of Texas DPS and we will be here with them as long as they need,” Mr. Combs said, adding that the local authorities are still in charge of the investigation.
“At this time, we do not have a terrorism investigation open,” Mr. Combs said.
• S.A. Miller contributed to this story.