Spencer Ackerman has spoken with a US official who offers a more cautious early analysis of the attack, suggesting a hate-crime motive. Bill Nelson has just said “there is some connection to Islamic radicalism” but cautioned: “we still don’t know the facts”.
A knowledgeable US official told the Guardian that an unfolding federal investigation was in the earliest stages, but an initial hypothesis regarding the shooter’s motive leaned closer to a hate crime than an act of terrorism.
“The idea of it being terrorism is not off the table, but it’s probably not the principal approach. There are other reasons to believe it was motivated toward a very specific kind of community, obviously,” said the official, who would not be identified by name or agency in discussing a fast-moving investigation.
That investigation is still determining if the shooting was “terrorism or a massive, massive hate crime,” the official said.
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