ORLANDO, Fla. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The area surrounding Pulse nightclub is slowly reopening as some paused to watch road barricades being lifted in a moment of reflection Tuesday.
“I just came here to find closure and try to understand, but I’m still struggling with it right now,” Orlando resident Nathaniel Reiff told CBS2’s Alice Gainer.
Two streets running directly in front of the club remain closed as local police and Justice Department officials continue to reconstruct the crime scene and determine an exact motive.
Investigators are piecing together a more detailed timeline of the night gunman Omar Mateen opened fire at the club killing 49 and injuring dozens of others.
They said Mateen was at the club the night of the shooting and paid a fee to enter, but left at some point and came back to carry out his plan. Authorities also said Mateen bought plane tickets to San Francisco for himself, his wife, and his child for July.
His wife, Noor Salman, allegedly told officials Mateen left the house that Saturday angry and with a bag of guns.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch visited Orlando Tuesday to meet with prosecutors, first responders and victims of the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
Lynch’s trip came a day after authorities released a partial transcript of phone calls Mateen had with a 911 operator and crisis negotiators once the shooting got underway.
But after coming under fire for initially withholding some information, authorities released a more complete transcript Monday afternoon, saying their earlier decision to withhold the names caused an unnecessary distraction.
“We are trying to learn everything we can about Mateen and all the people in his ambit in the days and weeks and months leading up to this attack,” Lynch said. “We’re going to go back and look at all our contact with him and see if there is anything we missed or either could or should’ve done differently.”
The more complete transcript now includes Mateen’s name and confirms he pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, during the phone conversations.
In one call, Mateen is heard calling himself an Islamic soldier and telling negotiators to stop bombing Syria and Iraq.
A statement from the Justice Department says the names were initially omitted so as not to give extremists a publicity platform for hateful propaganda. But the FBI had previously said Mateen pledged allegiance to ISIS and other organizations.
Federal investigators who have conducted hundreds of interviews say they haven’t ruled out charges against others in connection with the shooting, which left 49 victims dead and another 53 people hurt. Mateen died in a shootout with police.
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