A member of the FBI walks among piles of personal items at the scene of the mass shooting in Las Vegas. "Whatever was dropped when people started running, those items we're collecting and we're going to provide back," said Paul Flood, unit chief in the FBI's victim services division. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Originally published Monday, October 9, 2017 at 06:03a.m.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — The abandoned baby strollers, shoes, phones, backpacks and purses strewn for days across the huge crime scene of the Las Vegas massacre were slowly being returned to their owners Sunday to become sad souvenirs of a horrific night.
One week ago, the same scene was home to a happy day of country music for 22,000 people at the Route 91 Harvest festival. A few hours later, when 64-year-old Stephen Paddock opened fire on the crowd from the nearby Mandalay Bay hotel, killing 58 people, those thousands were left fleeing for their lives, with no care for the possessions they are now recollecting.
Federal agents have spent the week collecting evidence amid the thousands of items, some of them stained with blood.
"Whatever was dropped when people started running, those items we're collecting and we're going to provide back," Paul Flood, unit chief in the FBI's victim services division said at a news conference. "Just in general, the sheer size of the space, the amount of personal items that were left there, it's just a huge undertaking."
The items have been catalogued with detailed descriptions, and some have been cleaned of things including blood. They are now being returned to people at a Family Assistance Center at the Las Vegas Convention Center, starting with a few sections of the concert scene and expanding to others at a time to be announced later.
Investigators have chased 1,000 leads and examined Paddock's politics, finances, any possible radicalization and his social behavior — typical investigative avenues that have helped uncover the motive in past shootings. But Clark County Undersheriff Kevin McMahill said there's still no clear motive.