FBI: The San Bernardino suspects participated in 'target practice' days before shooting
Syed Rizwan Farook, a 28-year-old US citizen, and Tashfeen Malik, 27, participated in target practice days before opening fire on a company event at the Inland Regional Center, in an attack that left 14 people dead and injured at least 21 more.
"We do have evidence that both of these subjects participated in target practice in some ranges within the Los Angeles metro area," David Bowdich, assistant director of the FBI's Los Angeles office, told reporters in a press conference on Monday. "That target practice, on one occasion, was done within days of this event."Bowdich said that investigators had still not pinpointed a motive, but had reason to believe that both had been radicalized "for quite some time."
He added that there is no evidence, so far, that the plot had been coordinated with anyone living outside the US, corroborating FBI Director James Comey's statements on Friday that "we have no indication so far that these killers are part of an organized larger group or form part of a cell."
Still, the FBI is investigating the attack as an act of terrorism.
"This investigation is massive in scale," Bowdich said. "We have conducted well over 400 interviews by now of people around this city."
Malik reportedly pledged her allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Facebook shortly after the attack began.
An agent from the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said on Monday that five guns had been recovered either at the scene or at the suspects' home. They had all been purchased from federal firearms licensees in California between 2007 and 2012.
Farook had purchased the semiautomatic handguns recovered at the scene. His former neighbor, Enrique Marquez Jr., 29, had purchased the two .223-caliber assault rifles that had been used in the massacre.
It is still unclear if Marquez had a role in planning the attack. Bowdich told reporters that he was "not prepared to discuss Mr. Marquez at this point" when asked about the man's status.
Farook and Malik were married with a 6-month-old daughter. Farook was a US citizen whose parents were from Pakistan. Malik was from Pakistan but had a K-1 visa - known as a "fiancé" visa - that allowed her to travel to the US to marry Farook. The couple got married in 2014. Malik then obtained a green card, and thus permanent legal residence, in summer 2015, ABC reported.
Both died as they were being pursued by police on Wednesday, firing 76 rifle rounds before they were ultimately neutralized, San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said in a press conference last week.
When police searched the suspects' home, they found "several hundred" .22-caliber long-rifle rounds, "12 pipe bomb-type devices" in the garage, "hundreds of tools, many of which could be used to construct IEDs or pipe bombs," 2,000 9 mm rounds, and 2,500 .223-caliber rounds of ammunition.
"They came prepared to do what they did as if they were on a mission. They came in with a purpose," Burguan said, noting that Farook and Malik were dressed in tactical gear when they opened fire. "They came in with the intent to do something."