But the revelations spurred only more mystery.
Investigators found journals but didn’t say what was written inside. They found rifles and a trove of ammunition but didn’t (or couldn’t) explain why the arsenal was apparently unsecured. They found books on Asperger syndrome and autism, as well as a book titled “Train Your Brain to Get Happy.” They found a busted hard drive, but what was on it? They found samurai swords, knives, a bayonet, video-game consoles, pictures of a bloody dead body and a news clipping about another school killing.
They found clues — lots of clues — but if there is context to the clues in the form of motive, authorities either don’t know or aren’t saying. Three months after Lanza shattered a small town, setting off a renewed gun control debate, there still is no answer to the question of why he targeted so many schoolchildren in Newtown, Conn.
“This is an active, ongoing investigation,” Danbury State’s Attorney Stephen J. Sedensky III said in a statement. “No conclusions have been reached, and no final determinations have been made.”
The new details about Lanza came a day after authorities in Arizona released a trove of records about Jared Lee Loughner, the disturbed young man who tried to kill then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) in 2011. In that case, Loughner’s parents had recognized red flags but did not act on recommendations to have their son mentally evaluated.
If Lanza’s mother, Nancy, had recognized that her son was an imminent threat, the search warrants released Thursday don’t offer any evidence of that. Printed e-mails were found in the living room of their two-story colonial home, but the contents — again — are unknown. Nancy had gone on a getaway to New Hampshire in the days before her son’s attacks, according to previous reports.
Although the clues in the Lanza case aren’t yet adding up to the why, investigators have nailed down the how. In his statement, Sedensky painted a chilling picture of the attack, saying the shooting, in which Lanza fired at least 154 rounds, lasted less than five minutes. The carnage ended only when Lanza killed himself with a Glock 10mm handgun
He shot all of the victims with a Bushmaster .223-caliber XM-15 rifle loaded with a 30-round-capacity magazine. Lanza had other handguns and three still fully loaded 30-round magazines on him, Sedensky said. Empty and near-empty magazines were found nearby.
Police found a 12-gauge shotgun in the passenger area of his car, which was parked outside the school. Authorities said that the guns used in the attack “were apparently all purchased by the shooter’s mother” and that a gun locker at his home was “unlocked and there was no indication that it had been broken into.”