Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik, the shooters in last week’s deadly rampage in San Bernardino, California, took target practice in the Los Angeles area before the massacre, in one instance “within days of this event,” FBI assistant director David Bowdich told the media at a press conference Monday afternoon.
Bowdich also said there’s evidence both Farook and Malik had been radicalized “for quite some time,” but he could not say whether Malik had radicalized Farook, her husband.
“Did the female radicalize the male in this case? The answer is we still do not know,” Bowdich explained. “As the investigation has progressed, we have learned and believe that both subjects were radicalized and have been for quite some time.”
Bowdich added that law enforcement had conducted “well over 400 interviews” in the past five days, and that the FBI had found “evidence of pre-planning.”
“We want to find everyone who profited from it, financed it, and I’m not saying that there is anyone like that, but we will leave no stone unturned,” Bowdich said.
Bowdich added that the FBI had not found evidence of a plot extending outside of the continental United States.
Farook, 28, and Malik, 27, killed 14 people and injured 21 others after going on a shooting rampage at a holiday party inside the Inland Regional Center, according to authorities. Hours later, the husband and wife were killed in a shootout with police.
Authorities later discovered an arsenal of ammunition and pipe bombs at the couple’s Redlands home, where they cared for their 6-month-old daughter.
The FBI also defended quickly turning control of the couple’s Redlands apartment over to the landlord, who on Friday allowed reporters to tour the unit. Bowdich admitted Monday that the bureau had received numerous complaints about the “conduct” that occurred as the media walked through the apartment and held up personal items, including identification cards. But he said the FBI followed its standard protocols after searching a private property, and later releasing control of it.
Although initially believed to be a workplace shooting, the FBI announced that it is now investigating the deadly rampage as an “act of terrorism.” President Obama also described it as a terrorist attack during his rare Sunday night public address.