San Bernardino Shooters Practiced At Local Gun Range 'Within Days' Of Attack
Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik both practiced at local gun ranges, including one session "within days" of last week's mass shooting in San Bernardino.At a press conference on Monday afternoon, David Bowdich, FBI assistant director in charge of the Los Angeles Field Office, said that investigators had "evidence that both of these subjects participated in target practice in some ranges within the Los Angeles area," including "one occasion [that] happened within days of this event."
Bowdich also stated that the FBI believes that "both subjects were radicalized and for quite some time," but how that occurred remains unknown. "Remember, oftentimes it's on the Internet," he said.
All guns seized in the case were determined to have been purchased legally, though the ATF's assistant special agent in charge John D'Angelo said his agency was trying to figure out how Farook and Malik obtained the two assault rifles. The two 9mm handguns were found to be legally purchased by Farook, but the assault rifles were purchased by Enrique Marquez of Riverside, a childhood friend of Farook's. Marquez reportedly checked into a mental health facility after the shootings left him distraught—the L.A. Times reports that Marquez may have been unaware of their plot.
Marquez's home was searched on Sunday and he was reportedly taken into custody by federal investigators and is now answering questions about the shooting. Sources tell NBC News that Marquez is not considered a suspect in the case.
The FBI's Bowdich called the ongoing investigation "massive" and said investigators have conducted around 400 interviews and collected 320 pieces of evidence. He clarified that a total of 19 pipes, which could be converted into pipe bombs, were seized from the couple's Redlands home, though not all had been converted.
In his address to the nation on Sunday, President Obama said that there was "no evidence that the killers were directed by a terrorist organization overseas." Federal officials said the attack was more likely inspired by them—Malik pledged allegiance to ISIS before the attack—but said they were working in cooperation with foreign governments as a part of the investigation.