Now that Stephen Paddock's live-in girlfriend has returned to the U.S. after visiting her family in the Philippines, investigators want to know what she knows about a $100,000 wire transfer to an account in her native country.
Federal agents met Marilou Danley, who is believed to have moved in with the Las Vegas mass murderer in his Mesquite, Nev., home earlier this year, when her plane arrived in the U.S. early this morning. The Australian national, who was born in the Philippines, reportedly left the country before Paddock left for Las Vegas, where he is responsible for the deaths of 59 people and wounding more than 500 others.
But, as NBC News reported Tuesday:
Paddock wired $100,000 to an account in his live-in girlfriend’s home country, the Philippines, in the week before he unleashed the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history, according to multiple senior law enforcement officials.
But while officials have confirmed that Marilou Danley was in the Philippines on Sunday when Paddock opened fire on a crowd attending a country music festival on the Las Vegas Strip, it was not known whether the money was for her or her family or for another purpose.
Investigators have plenty of evidence but nothing yet that points to a motive in the shooting. Paddock is now known to have been a "professional" high-limit gambler worth millions of dollars, so he likely had access to large sums of cash.
He also reportedly hit a recent losing streak in which he had lost vast sums of money in video poker games. That has been explored as a possible motivating factor in the shooting, but law enforcement needs more information.
Tuesday night, Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo suggested perhaps Paddock may have been "radicalized," either by ISIS—which has thrice claimed he was one of its operatives—or by a domestic group, such as Antifa.
During a press conference, the sheriff said:
I want to understand the motivation that you described, okay, to prevent any future incidents, and, you know, did this person get radicalized unbeknownst to us? And we want to identify that source.
ISIS has a strong presence in the Philippines. There, the southern city of Marawi has been under seige for more than four months.
Danley remains a person of interest in the law enforcement investigation merely because she reportedly had the closest relationship with Paddock. It’s not clear at all what, if any, information she might be able to provide. So far, investigators say she has been fully cooperative.