More than 24 hours after the Las Vegas massacre, nobody understands Stephen Paddock's motive

Handout from Stephen Paddock’s brother. Picture: Supplied

More than 24 hours after police found Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock dead in his hotel room, police have not established a motivate for the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.

While police and media investigations have started to surface a picture of Paddock — who friends, family, and authorities said was an occasional gambler who enjoyed hunting and aviation — nobody close to or studying Paddock has any idea why he carried out the act.

Paddock, 64, was a millionaire who made much of his money investing in real estate, his brother said. Both his age and supposed income would go against the typical profile of a mass shooter.

Paste Magazine interviewed Paddock’s neighbours, who said he kept to himself. But that wasn’t rare in the affluent suburb one neighbour compared to a resort.

Police said they found 19 guns in Paddock’s Mesquite, Nevada, home, but he never set off any red flags to his neighbours.

“People who knew him say he seemed like a very normal individual,” one neighbour told the magazine.

Paddock’s brother, Eric, told the Daily Mail that he was “dumbfounded” and “shocked” by the news of his brother’s massacre.

“We have no idea how this happened,” he later told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “It’s like an asteroid just fell on top of our family.”

Paddock’s brother said in a televised interview that Paddock was “not an avid gun guy,” but he said he did not speak to him often. In the end, police recovered 42 total guns from Paddock’s hotel and home.

While Paddock’s father was a bank robber, a one-time armed and dangerous fugitive, and a diagnosed psychopath, according to the FBI, the elder Paddock was arrested for his crimes when Paddock was just 7 years old.

Clint Van Zandt, a supervisor in the FBI’s behavioural science unit, said he came up empty when looking into Paddock.

“My challenge is, I don’t see any of the classic indicators, so far, that would suggest, ‘OK, he’s on the road either to suicide or homicide or both,” Van Zandt told The Associated Press.

“He knew what he wanted to do. He knew how he was going to do it, and it doesn’t seem like he had any kind of escape plan at all.”

The Islamic State terror organisation claimed responsibility for the attack, but US officials shot that down quickly, saying there was no evidence of any link to an international terrorist organisation. The group has a history of falsely claiming attacks to boost its profile.

Paddock had no known mental illnesses. He checked into his hotel room three days before opening fire during the last act of the last night of the Route 91 Harvest Festival. The room he picked gave him a good vantage point over the 22,000 concertgoers across the street.

He brought weapons that had scopes and special rifle butts that enabled them to act as automatic rifles.

As Las Vegas hospitals remain stretched thin caring for the wounded, police have examined “several pieces of media including a computer” they found in Paddock’s room.

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