FBI leaving Sutherland Springs, handing case to local authorities

Pastor Frank Pomeroy has said that it would be too painful to continue using First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs as a place of worship.

Five days after a gunman opened fire at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, killing more than half of the congregation, the FBI said it is pulling out of the quaint community and handing the investigation off to local authorities.

The Wilson County Sheriff's Office requested the assistance of other law enforcement after evaluating the scene.

The Texas Rangers also assisted with the investigation and said Thursday that there will be no more briefings at this time.

Here's what we know:

Dead and injured: Texas Department of Public Safety regional director Freeman Martin said that in addition to the 26 killed in the incident, 20 were wounded — 10 critically and 4 seriously. The others received relatively minor injuries.

The weapons: Fred Milanowski, an official from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said the gunman, Devin Kelley, was in possession of a Ruger AR15-type semiautomatic rifle and two handguns. The Ruger was dropped outside the church, and the handguns were found in his vehicle. Kelley was able to buy the guns in light of the fact that he had been court-martialed for domestic violence. Kelley had 15 magazines and emptied all of them. The Air Force failed to flag Kelley as banned from buying weapons in federal databases, the Air Force acknowledged Monday.

Clues to motivation: Martin described the tragedy as possibly arising from a "domestic situation" involving the shooter's mother-in-law, a congregant at the church. He mentioned "threatening texts" sent by Kelley. "We can tell you that there was a domestic situation going on within this family," Martin said. "This was not racially motivated, it wasn't over religious beliefs."

Ages of victims: Martin said those killed ranged in age from 18 months to 77 years old, and those wounded ranged from between 5 and 72 years old.

Gunman's background: The gunman received a bad-conduct discharge from the Air Force in 2014. He was court-martialed in 2012 for assaulting his wife and children, and the Comal County Sheriff's Office is also re-examining a sexual assault case from 2013 that was never fully investigated because Kelley had moved out of state.

© 2017 KENS-TV


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