After Stephen Paddock opened fire on concertgoers from his Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino suite in Las Vegas, killing 58 and injuring a further 500, police searched his room. A laptop discovered in the room, which may have crucial evidence relating to the brutal incident, was found to be missing its Hard Drive.

Missing laptop hard drive mystifies police

As reported by ABC News, police continue to struggle to establish the motive behind the deadly shooting and the laptop’s hard drive may have had some answers. However, it appears to have been removed by Paddock prior to the shooting and his own self-inflicted death. Investigators did uncover the fact Paddock had bought a type of software which can be used to erase hard drives, but it is unknown whether the gunman actually used it.

However according to the Wall Street Journal, on inspecting his browsing history, police uncovered a search performed by Paddock into police tactics used for breaking into rooms.

As noted by ABC News, other mass shooters have destroyed digital evidence prior to their crimes. Cho Seung Hui, the 2007 Virginia Tech gunman, threw away his cellphone and removed his computer hard drive before the shooting, neither of which was ever recovered. Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook gunman, not only removed his computer’s hard drive, but also destroyed it with a hammer.

No note or manifesto left behind to establish motive

Unlike similar mass murderers, Paddock left no manifesto or note behind to explain his actions and neighbors didn’t know him well. What is known is that the gunman had collected a stockpile of ammunition along with his dozens of guns prior to the shooting at the country music festival.

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Paddock was a regular gambler and tended to be a loner and a source told ABC News he didn’t appear to have a problem with his finances. In fact, the source said Paddock settled all debts he had with any of the casinos shortly prior to the shooting massacre.

Paddock had been described by his brother, Eric Paddock, as being an “intelligent” man who cared for the people he loved, adding that he was shocked by the incident and that it made no sense to him. He went on to tell reporters that his heart was “destroyed” for all the victims but said he had no idea why his brother did it.

Marilou Danley, Paddock’s girlfriend, described him as being a kind, caring and quiet man, telling the FBI she was also bewildered by what he had done on her return to the U.S. from a trip. According to Danley, there was nothing to warn her that such a horrible action would be taken by Paddock.