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Allen mall shooter had 8 weapons total at the scene, officials say; motive is still unclear

Law enforcement officials held a press conference Tuesday afternoon to provide an update on the Allen outlet mall shooting.

ALLEN, Texas — The FBI, Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and Allen police held a press conference Tuesday afternoon to provide an update on the Allen mall shooting where eight people were killed and several others were injured. 

Three to four minutes. That's how long it took the gunman, 33-year-old Mauricio Garcia, to kill eight people and injure several others before being "neutralized" by an Allen police officer.

Officials said Garcia's motive is still unknown and forensic investigators are sweeping through all of Garcia's digital devices, including his computer and cellphone, and his social media pages. 

Tuesday's press briefing was the first time officials connected to this investigation talked to the media since Saturday night.

According to officials, the shooting occurred at about 3:36 p.m. on Saturday at Allen Premium Outlets. The Allen Police Department confirmed an officer who was responding to an unrelated incident in the area heard the gunshots and ran toward them. The department said the officer “neutralized” shooter and called for emergency personnel.

Allen Police Department Chief Brian Harvey said the officer demonstrated "tremendous bravery," and even though the department is not yet releasing his name due to the ongoing investigation, Harvey said they do plan to recognize him and other heroes in the mass shooting at a later date. 

On Monday, May 9, all eight victims in the shooting were identified: The Cho family, Kyu, Cindy and their 3-year-old son James; sisters, 11-year-old Daniela Mendoza and 8-year-old Sofia Mendoza; Christian LaCour, 20; and Aishwarya Thatikonda, 27; and Elio Cumana-Rivas, 32.

Harvey said LaCour, a security guard working at the outlet mall during the shooting, was helping people to safety when he was shot and killed by the gunman. 

At least seven other victims, including IIda, mother of the Mendoza sisters, along with William Cho, and Irvin Walker II were injured in the shooting.

Read related: Here's what we know about the victims.

During the press conference, officials revealed Garcia was in possession of eight weapons. Texas Department of Public Safety North Texas regional director Hank Sibley said they were all purchased legally. 

When Garcia was shot and killed by the Allen officer, three weapons were found on his person. The other five were found inside Garcia's car. 

Sibley, too, commended the Allen officer who shot and killed Garcia and the response by other law enforcement to the scene by calling it "stellar." 

"Everybody did what they were supposed to do," said Sibley. 

A bulletin sent by the FBI to law enforcement agencies about Garcia said that "an initial review and triage of the subject's social media accounts revealed hundreds of postings and images to include writings with racially and ethnically motivated violent extremist rhetoric, including neo-Nazi material and material espousing the supremacy of the white race."

Despite his ideology, Sibley said Garcia motive is still unknown, but it looks like he targeted the outlet mall and not the people who were shot. Sibley said he believes the victims were chosen at random.

Sibley did confirm the 33-year-old had been a licensed security guard, but said wasn't working as one at the time of the shooting. He most recently worked at an aluminum supply company. An Army official told WFAA Garcia had been in the U.S. Army in 2008 but was removed due to mental health concerns.

When asked if there's a way to stop mass shootings by individual who suffer or have a history of mental illness. Sibley said it was a hard one to answer, but said those people "will find a way." 

Read more about Garcia and the investigation into him here.

Sibley said Garcia had no documented criminal history, though. The investigation remains ongoing, and officials said there's no indication that Garcia had any "confederates" or anyone working with him to carry out the crime. 

Chief Harvey said his department, the FBI and DPS are all partnering to make sure the victims are connected to mental health and counseling services, and encouraged anyone who wanted to help donate to visit here. 

FBI Special Agent in Charge Chad Yarbrough said as of Monday, May 9, 30 families, which included over 100 people, have been provided support thus far. He also said 1,100 vehicle have been retrieved from the outlet mall since the shooting. 

Yarbrough is asking anyone who witnessed the shooting or still needs to pick up their belongings to meet at the Allen Senior Recreation Center at 451 St. Mary Drive. The building will be open both Wednesday, May 10 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Thursday - Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

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