FBI says still not known if Tennessee shooting suspect was radicalized

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FBI: Too Early to Tell If Chattanooga Shooting Suspect Was Radicalized


The FBI still has not determined whether the suspect in the fatal shootings of five U.S. servicemen in Tennessee last week was radicalized in the run-up to the rampage, the special agent in charge of the investigation said on Wednesday.

But investigators believe that the suspect, Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, acted on his own on the day of the shooting at two military facilities in Chattanooga, Edward Reinhold, special agent in charge of FBI's Knoxville division, told a news conference.

"At this time, we're treating him as a homegrown violent extremist," Reinhold said. "We believe he entered the facility on his own. We do not have any indication that anyone else was assisting him on that day."

Offering a smattering of fresh details about the investigation of last Thursday's shooting, Reinhold told reporters all of the victims were killed by a single weapon.

See photos from the memorials for the fallen, below:
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Chattanooga, Tennessee Shooting memorials, tributes
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FBI says still not known if Tennessee shooting suspect was radicalized
Marine First Sargeant John Coyne announces the names of the fallen Marines and Sailor during Roll Call at a memorial service Saturday, Aug. 15, 2015, in Chattanooga, Tenn. The service is for four Marines and a sailor killed as a result of attacks on a military recruiting station and a Naval operations center July 16 in Chattanooga. (AP Photo/Mark Gilliland)
In this image released by the U.S. Navy, pallbearers carry the casket of Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Scott Smith at the Chattanooga National Cemetery, Tuesday, July 28, 2015. Scott was one of five servicemen whose death was the result of a series of shootings at military facilities in Chattanooga, Tenn., on July 16, 2015.(Spc. 2nd Class Justin Wolpert/U.S. Navy via AP)
Pallbearers carry the casket of U.S. Navy Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Randall Smith after a service at First Baptist Church, Tuesday, July 28, 2015, in Fort Oglethorpe, Ga. Smith was wounded and later died during an attack on military facilities in Chattanooga, Tenn., on July 16, 2015. (Michael D. Cole/U.S. Navy via AP)
Marines give a final salute to Marine Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan during ceremony at the Massachusetts Veterans' Memorial Cemetery, Monday, July 27, 2015, in Agawam, Mass. Sullivan was one of five service members killed by a gunman in Chattanooga, Tenn. on July 16. The gunman was killed by police. (Don Tregger/The Republican via AP, Pool)
Mourners arrive at Holy Cross Church for a funeral service for Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan in Springfield, Mass., Monday, July 27, 2015. Sullivan was one of five service members shot to death in the July 16 attack in Chattanooga. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Cathy Wells, center, the mother of Lance Cpl. Squire Wells, known as "Skip," stands after being presented with flowers at a memorial service at Sprayberry High School, where Wells attended, Tuesday, July 21, 2015, in Marietta, Ga. Crowds gathered at the suburban Atlanta high school to remember the Marine who was fatally shot in an attack on military facilities in Chattanooga, Tenn. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Cathy Wells, left, the mother of Lance Cpl. Squire Wells, known as "Skip," is embraced by Lance Cpl. Kurt Bright, one of Wells' best friends upon arriving for a memorial service for her son at Sprayberry High School where he attended, Tuesday, July 21, 2015, in Marietta, Ga. Crowds gathered at the suburban Atlanta high school to remember the Marine who was fatally shot in an attack on military facilities in Chattanooga, Tenn. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Mourners cheer during a memorial service for Lance Cpl. Squire Wells, known as "Skip," at Sprayberry High School where Wells attended, Tuesday, July 21, 2015, in Marietta, Ga. Crowds gathered at the suburban Atlanta high school to remember the Marine who was fatally shot in an attack on military facilities in Chattanooga, Tenn. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Balloons are released during a memorial service for Lance Cpl. Squire Wells, known as "Skip," at Sprayberry High School where he attended, Tuesday, July 21, 2015, in Marietta, Ga. Crowds gathered at the suburban Atlanta high school to remember the Marine who was fatally shot in an attack on military facilities in Chattanooga, Tenn. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Bill Lettmkuhl kneels by a makeshift memorial in front of near the Armed Forces Career Center on Friday, July 17, 2015, in Chattanooga, Tenn. Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, of Hixson, Tenn., attacked two military facilities on Thursday, in a shooting rampage that killed four Marines. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
CHATTANOOGA, TN - JULY 19: Keari Anderson walks through the memorial near the Armed Forces Career Center/National Guard Recruitment Office which had been shot up on July 19, 2015 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. . The gunman Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, opened fire on the military recruiting station at the strip mall on July 16th and then drove more than seven miles away to an operational support center operated by the U.S. Navy and killed four United States Marines and a Navy sailor. The gunman was likely killed in a exchange of gunfire with the police. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CHATTANOOGA, TN - JULY 18: Ronald May prays as he supports a cross at a memorial setup in front of the Armed Forces Career Center/National Guard Recruitment Office which had been shot up on July 18, 2015 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. According to reports, Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, opened fire on the military recruiting station on July 16th at the strip mall and then drove to an operational support center operated by the U.S. Navy and killed four United States Marines there and a Navy sailor. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CHATTANOOGA, TN - JULY 19: Ron Fahy and Misty Fahy hold a sign that reads,' American Lives Matter', as they attend a prayer service near the Armed Forces Career Center/National Guard Recruitment Office which had been shot up on July 19, 2015 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. . The gunman Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, opened fire on the military recruiting station at the strip mall on July 16th and then drove more than seven miles away to an operational support center operated by the U.S. Navy and killed four United States Marines and a Navy sailor. The gunman was likely killed in a exchange of gunfire with the police. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CHATTANOOGA, TN - JULY 19: Vehicles flying American flags are seen as they arrive near the Armed Forces Career Center/National Guard Recruitment Office which had been shot up on July 19, 2015 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The gunman Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, opened fire on the military recruiting station at the strip mall on July 16th and then drove more than seven miles away to an operational support center operated by the U.S. Navy and killed four United States Marines and a Navy sailor. The gunman was likely killed in a exchange of gunfire with the police. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CHATTANOOGA, TN - JULY 19: Jared Eldridge (L) and Zach Henderson fly American flags over highway 153 as they show their support for their country after four U.S. Marines and a Navy sailor were killed on July 19, 2015 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The gunman Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, opened fire on the military recruiting station at the strip mall on July 16th and then drove more than seven miles away to an operational support center operated by the U.S. Navy and killed four United States Marines and a Navy sailor. The gunman was likely killed in a exchange of gunfire with the police. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CHATTANOOGA, TN - JULY 19: John Kennon (L) and Lilla Kennon attend the East Ridge United Methodist Church for a prayer service to honor the four Marines and one Navy sailor killed during a shooting on July 19, 2015 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The gunman Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, opened fire on the military recruiting station at the strip mall on July 16th and then drove more than seven miles away to an operational support center operated by the U.S. Navy and killed four United States Marines and a Navy sailor. The gunman was likely killed in a exchange of gunfire with the police. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CHATTANOOGA, TN - JULY 19: Lilla Kennon wipes away tears as she attends the East Ridge United Methodist Church for a prayer service to honor the four Marines and one Navy sailor killed during a shooting on July 19, 2015 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The gunman Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, opened fire on the military recruiting station at the strip mall on July 16th and then drove more than seven miles away to an operational support center operated by the U.S. Navy and killed four United States Marines and a Navy sailor. The gunman was likely killed in a exchange of gunfire with the police. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CHATTANOOGA, TN - JULY 19: Teresa Jennings (L) and Miranda Jennings hold candles as they attend the East Ridge United Methodist Church for a prayer service to honor the four Marines and one Navy sailor killed during a shooting on July 19, 2015 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The gunman Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, opened fire on the military recruiting station at the strip mall on July 16th and then drove more than seven miles away to an operational support center operated by the U.S. Navy and killed four United States Marines and a Navy sailor. The gunman was likely killed in a exchange of gunfire with the police. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CHATTANOOGA, TN - JULY 19: Members of the Highways and Hedges Ministry prepare to setup a wooden cross near the Armed Forces Career Center/National Guard Recruitment Office which had been shot up on July 19, 2015 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. . The gunman Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, opened fire on the military recruiting station at the strip mall on July 16th and then drove more than seven miles away to an operational support center operated by the U.S. Navy and killed four United States Marines and a Navy sailor. The gunman was likely killed in a exchange of gunfire with the police. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CHATTANOOGA, TN - JULY 18: U.S. Navy sailor Evan Montgomery places American flags in a memorial setup in front of the Armed Forces Career Center/National Guard Recruitment Office which had been shot up on July 18, 2015 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. According to reports, Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, opened fire on the military recruiting station at the strip mall on July 16th and then drove more than seven miles away to an operational support center operated by the U.S. Navy and killed four United States Marines and a Navy sailor. The gunman was likely killed in a exchange of gunfire with the police. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CHATTANOOGA, TN - JULY 18: Christina Reed (L), Aaron Workman and Julia Morrison (R) pay their respects at a memorial setup at the entrance to the Navy Operational Support Center and Marine Corps Reserve Center where four United States Marines and a Navy sailor were killed on July 18, 2015 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. According to reports, Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, opened fire on the military recruiting station at the strip mall on July 16th and then drove more than seven miles away to an operational support center operated by the U.S. Navy and killed four United States Marines and a Navy sailor. The gunman was likely killed in a exchange of gunfire with the police. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CHATTANOOGA, TN - JULY 18: Joan Jones holds Isaiah Watson ,2, as they pay their respect at a memorial setup at the entrance to the Navy Operational Support Center and Marine Corps Reserve Center where four United States Marines and a Navy sailor were killed on July 18, 2015 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. According to reports, Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, opened fire on the military recruiting station at the strip mall on July 16th and then drove more than seven miles away to an operational support center operated by the U.S. Navy and killed four United States Marines and a Navy sailor. The gunman was likely killed in a exchange of gunfire with the police. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CHATTANOOGA, TN - JULY 18: A sign is seen among the memorial setup in front of the Armed Forces Career Center/National Guard Recruitment Office on July 18, 2015 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. According to reports, Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, opened fire on the military recruiting station on July 16th at the strip mall and then drove to an operational support center operated by the U.S. Navy and killed four United States Marines there, more than seven miles away, (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CHATTANOOGA, TN - JULY 19: Flowers and a sign are seen in the memorial near the Armed Forces Career Center/National Guard Recruitment Office which had been shot up on July 19, 2015 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. . The gunman Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, opened fire on the military recruiting station at the strip mall on July 16th and then drove more than seven miles away to an operational support center operated by the U.S. Navy and killed four United States Marines and a Navy sailor. The gunman was likely killed in a exchange of gunfire with the police. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Heather Brame and her son, J.T. left, sign a poster by a makeshift memorial outside the Armed Forces Career Center Saturday, July 18, 2015, in Chattanooga, Tenn. The U.S. Navy says a sailor who was shot in the attack on a military facility in Chattanooga has died, raising the death toll to five people. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
A man and woman comfort one another by a makeshift memorial outside the Armed Forces Career Center, Friday, July 17, 2015, in Chattanooga, Tenn. Counterterrorism investigators are trying to figure out why a 24-year-old Kuwait-born man, who by accounts lived a typical life in suburban America, attacked the career center and a Navy-Marine training center a few miles away in a shooting rampage that killed four Marines. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
Laurie Norman becomes emotional as she looks at a makeshift memorial outside a military recruiting center Friday, July 17, 2015, where a gunman opened fire Thursday in Chattanooga, Tenn. Counterterrorism investigators are trying to figure out why a 24-year-old Kuwait-born man, who by accounts lived a typical life in suburban America, attacked the career center and a Navy-Marine training center a few miles away in a shooting rampage that killed four Marines. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
CHATTANOOGA, TN - JULY 19: Toy soldiers are seen in the memorial setup near the Armed Forces Career Center/National Guard Recruitment Office which had been shot up on July 19, 2015 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. . The gunman Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, opened fire on the military recruiting station at the strip mall on July 16th and then drove more than seven miles away to an operational support center operated by the U.S. Navy and killed four United States Marines and a Navy sailor. The gunman was likely killed in a exchange of gunfire with the police. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Regina Ingram looks at a makeshift memorial outside a military recruiting center Friday, July 17, 2015, where a gunman opened fire Thursday in Chattanooga, Tenn. Counterterrorism investigators are trying to figure out why a 24-year-old Kuwait-born man, who by accounts lived a typical life in suburban America, attacked the career center and a Navy-Marine training center a few miles away in a shooting rampage that killed four Marines. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
CHATTANOOGA, TN - JULY 17: Melissa Gallagher prays with her children as they pay their respects to those killed while visiting a memorial placed in front of the Armed Forces Career Center/National Guard Recruitment Office which had been shot up on July 17, 2015 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. According to reports, Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, opened fire on the military recruiting station on July 16th at the strip mall and then drove to an operational support center operated by the U.S. Navy and killed four United States Marines there, more than seven miles away, (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Flags stand in a make-shift memorial as people gather at the scene of a military recruiting office in Chattanooga, Tenn., on Monday, July 20, 2015, four days after it was targeted in a pair of shootings that left five people dead. Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez attacked two military facilities, including the career center, last week in a shooting rampage that killed a U.S. Navy sailor and four Marines. (AP Photo/Jay Reeves)
CHATTANOOGA, TN - JULY 17: Johnny Stapp whose son just entered the Marine Corps. places flags in the memorial in front of the Armed Forces Career Center/National Guard Recruitment Office which had been shot up on July 17, 2015 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. According to reports, Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, opened fire on the military recruiting station on July 16th at the strip mall and then drove to an operational support center operated by the U.S. Navy and killed four United States Marines there, more than seven miles away, (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CHATTANOOGA, TN - JULY 17: Eli Arnold places an American flag in the memorial in front of the Armed Forces Career Center/National Guard Recruitment Office which had been shot up on July 17, 2015 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. According to reports, Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, opened fire on the military recruiting station on July 16th at the strip mall and then drove to an operational support center operated by the U.S. Navy and killed four United States Marines there, more than seven miles away, (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CHATTANOOGA, TN - JULY 17: Alicia Nerren (R) prays with her children as they pay their respects to those killed while visiting a memorial placed in front of the Armed Forces Career Center/National Guard Recruitment Office which had been shot up on July 17, 2015 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. According to reports, Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, opened fire on the military recruiting station on July 16th at the strip mall and then drove to an operational support center operated by the U.S. Navy and killed four United States Marines there, more than seven miles away, (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CHATTANOOGA, TN - JULY 17: Laurie Norman is overcome with emotion as she pays her respects to those killed while visiting a memorial placed in front of the Armed Forces Career Center/National Guard Recruitment Office which had been shot up on July 17, 2015 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. According to reports, Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, opened fire on the military recruiting station on July 16th at the strip mall and then drove to an operational support center operated by the U.S. Navy and killed four United States Marines there, more than seven miles away, (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CHATTANOOGA, TN - JULY 17: Blake Miller and his mother, Ashley Miller whose husband is a Lieutenant in the Marine Corps pay their respects to those killed while visiting a memorial placed in front of the Armed Forces Career Center/National Guard Recruitment Office which had been shot up on July 17, 2015 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. According to reports, Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, opened fire on the military recruiting station at the strip mall and then drove to an operational support center operated by the U.S. Navy more than seven miles away and killed four United States Marines there. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CHATTANOOGA, TN - JULY 17: Miller-Motte Technical College students and others join in prayer across the highway from the strip mall where a gunman attacked the Armed Forces Career Center/National Guard Recruitment Office on July 17, 2015 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. According to reports, Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, opened fire on the military recruiting station at the strip mall on July 16th and then drove to an operational support center operated by the U.S. Navy more than seven miles away and killed four United States Marines there. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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Investigators know where the 24-year-old suspect purchased firearms found with him after he was killed in a firefight at a naval training center, but the FBI will not disclose that information immediately, Reinhold said.

A friend of Abdulazeez told Reuters on Saturday that the suspect bought weapons on armslist.com. Telephone calls to the online firearms marketplace were not returned.

During the press conference, the FBI provided a more detailed timeline of the events that culminated with the July 16 killing of the suspect, a 24-year-old engineer with a history of psychological issues and substance abuse.

Reinhold said the attack began when Abdulazeez sprayed a military recruiting center in a Chattanooga strip mall with bullets and drove away. He then crashed his rented car through the gate of a naval training center six miles away, exited his vehicle and began firing.

He killed four Marines outside the training center building, then entered it and mortally wounded a U.S. Navy petty officer inside. The sailor died in a local hospital two days later.

The FBI has assigned 700 to 1,000 agents to the investigation, which Reinhold said was still at an early stage. The special agent said investigators would not be able to explain any of the pieces of evidence gathered so far until their probe was complete.

Meanwhile, U.S. investigators are in Jordan to interrogate the Jordanian-American uncle of the suspect, who visited relatives in that Middle Eastern country in 2014.

Jordanian authorities arrested Assad Ibrahim Abdulazeez Haj on Friday and he was being interrogated by both Jordanian and U.S. investigators, his lawyer Abdul Qader al Khatib said by telephone.

"We are gathering clues and we need to establish whether this was a sole act or one that is linked to a wider terror network," an unnamed Jordanian security source said.

"At this stage of the interrogation we cannot rule out anything."
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