Exclusive: Investigators piece together portrait of Pakistani woman in shooting massacre

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Who Was Tashfeen Malik?

Tashfeen Malik's path to accused mass killer in California began in a small city on the Indus River in Pakistan's Punjab province.

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It was from here, when she was a toddler, that she moved with her father Gulzar 25 years ago to Saudi Arabia, where he became more deeply religious, more conservative and more hardline, according to a family member.

A picture slowly emerged on Friday of the role and possible motivations of 27-year-old Malik in this week's killing of 14 people in California, including her apparent pledge of allegiance to the leader of the Islamic State militant group, according to U.S. officials.

Aftermath of the deadly attacks:

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Exclusive: Investigators piece together portrait of Pakistani woman in shooting massacre
A man hangs a sign reading 'We Love San Bernardino' before a candlelight vigil at the San Manuel Stadium in San Bernardino, California, December 3, 2015. Vigils were held all around the region to mourn the 14 victims of the previous day's mass shooting in San Bernardino. AFP PHOTO / ROBYN BECK / AFP / ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
SAN BERNARDINO, USA - DECEMBER 03: Flowers, laid by people who commemorates the victims, are seen as US Security Forces secure the area after a mass shooting that killed multiple people at a social services center for the disabled in San Bernardino, California of United States on December 03, 2015. Two suspects in a deadly mass shooting that killed 14 victims at a social services facility in California were killed after a confrontation with police, authorities said Wednesday. The initial shooting occurred earlier Wednesday when at least one shooter opened fire in San Bernardino at the Inland Regional Center, which provides services to persons with developmental disabilities and their families. At least 17 others were injured. (Photo by Mintaha Neslihan Eroglu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
People arrive for a candlelight vigil at San Manuel Stadium, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015, in San Bernardino, Calif for multiple victims of a shooting that took place at a holiday banquet on Wednesday. A heavily armed man and woman opened fire killing multiple people and seriously wounding others in a precision assault, authorities said. Hours later, they died in a shootout with police. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
People mourn during a candlelight vigil at San Manuel Stadium, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015, in San Bernardino, Calif for multiple victims of a shooting that took place at a holiday banquet on Wednesday. A heavily armed man and woman opened fire killing multiple people and seriously wounding others in a precision assault, authorities said. Hours later, they died in a shootout with police. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
A woman holds her hands together at a candlelight vigil at the San Manuel Stadium in San Bernardino, California, December 3, 2015. Vigils were held all around the region to mourn the 14 victims of the previous day's mass shooting in San Bernardino. AFP PHOTO / ROBYN BECK / AFP / ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Katherine Vittorio (R) and her niece Sara Stringer (L) mourn the victims of a shooting rampage, at a candlelight vigil at the San Manuel Stadium in San Bernardino, California, December 3, 2015. Vigils were held all around the region to mourn the 14 victims of the previous day's mass shooting in San Bernardino. AFP PHOTO / ROBYN BECK / AFP / ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Samar Natori (L), from Redlands, CA, with family and friends who are all Muslims arrive at a candlelight vigil at the San Manuel Stadium in San Bernardino, California, December 3, 2015. Vigils were held all around the region to mourn the 14 victims of the previous day's mass shooting in San Bernardino. AFP PHOTO / ROBYN BECK / AFP / ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
RIALTO, CA. -- THURSDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2015 -- Ryan Reyes, 32, holds a photograph of Daniel Kaufman, right, his boyfriend of three years who was confirmed as one of the victims of Wednesday's mass shooting at the Inland Regional Center that left 14 people dead. The image was taken at a renaissance festival. (Photo by Rick Loomis/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
SAN BERNARDINO, CA - DECEMBER 03: A woman holds flowers outside of the Inland Regional Center on December 3, 2015 in San Bernardino, California. Police continue to investigate a mass shooting at the Center that left at least 14 people dead and another 17 injured. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
A photograph of Larry Kaufman, 42, who was killed, is displayed during a candlelight vigil at San Manuel Stadium, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015, in San Bernardino, Calif for multiple victims of a shooting that took place at a holiday banquet on Wednesday. A heavily armed man and woman opened fire killing multiple people and seriously wounding others in a precision assault, authorities said. Hours later, they died in a shootout with police. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
People attend a candlelight vigil for victims of a shooting, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015, at San Manuel Stadium in San Bernardino, Calif. A husband and wife opened fire on a holiday banquet, killing multiple people on Wednesday. Hours later, the couple died in a shootout with police. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

People hold candles during a vigil for shooting victims on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015, at San Manuel Stadium inSan Bernardino, Calif. A husband and wife opened fire on a holiday banquet, killing multiple people on Wednesday. Hours later, the couple died in a shootout with police. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

A woman holds a sign for Robert Adams, who died in a shooting on Wednesday, during a vigil for shooting victims on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015, at San Manuel Stadium in San Bernardino, Calif. A husband and wife opened fire on a holiday banquet, killing multiple people on Wednesday. Hours later, the couple died in a shootout with police. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

A woman cries during a candlelight vigil for shooting victims on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015, at San Manuel Stadium in San Bernardino, Calif. A husband and wife opened fire on a holiday banquet, killing multiple people on Wednesday. Hours later, the couple died in a shootout with police. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

People hold candles during a vigil for shooting victims on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015, at San Manuel Stadium inSan Bernardino, Calif. A husband and wife opened fire on a holiday banquet, killing multiple people on Wednesday. Hours later, the couple died in a shootout with police. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

A woman cries during a candlelight vigil at San Manuel Stadium, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015, in San Bernardino, Calif. for multiple victims of a shooting that took place at a holiday banquet on Wednesday. A husband and wife opened fire killing multiple people. Hours later, the couple died in a shootout with police. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

A mourner holds a candle during a vigil at San Manuel Stadium, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015, in San Bernardino, Calif. for multiple victims of a shooting that took place at a holiday banquet on Wednesday. A husband and wife opened fire killing multiple people on Wednesday. Hours later, the couple died in a shootout with police. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

A couple hugs during a candlelight vigil at San Manuel Stadium, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015, in San Bernardino, Calif. for multiple victims of a shooting that took place at a holiday banquet on Wednesday. A husband and wife opened fire killing multiple people on Wednesday. Hours later, the couple died in a shootout with police. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Melissa Smith prays at a makeshift memorial on Friday, Dec. 4, 2015, in San Bernardino, Calif. A husband and wife on Wednesday, dressed for battle and carrying assault rifles and handguns, opened fire on a holiday banquet for his co-workers, killing multiple people and seriously wounding others in a precision assault, authorities said. Hours later, the couple died in a shootout with police. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Chaplain Chuck Bender, right, prays with Michael Davila at a makeshift memorial honoring the victims of Wednesday's shooting rampage, Friday, Dec. 4, 2015, in San Bernardino, Calif. The FBI said Friday it is officially investigating the mass shooting in California as an act of terrorism, while a U.S. law enforcement official said the woman who carried out the attack with her husband had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group and its leader on Facebook. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
People listen during a candlelight vigil at San Manuel Stadium, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015, in San Bernardino, Calif for multiple victims of of a shooting that took place at a holiday banquet on Wednesday. A heavily armed man and woman opened fire Wednesday at the banquet, killing multiple people and seriously wounding others in a precision assault, authorities said. Hours later, they died in a shootout with police. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
People pray at a makeshift memorial for the victims of a mass shooting near the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California on December 4, 2015. The FBI said the mass shooting in California was being investigated as 'an act of terrorism,' amid reports the female assailant had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group online. Syed Farook, 28, and his 27-year-old wife Tashfeen Malik died in a shootout with police, hours after killing 14 people at a year-end party organized by Farook's employer in San Bernardino. AFP PHOTO / ROBYN BECK / AFP / ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Lucina Quezado of Redlands, California wipes her eye as she prays at a makeshift memorial for the victims of a mass shooting near the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California on December 4, 2015. The FBI said the mass shooting in California was being investigated as 'an act of terrorism,' amid reports the female assailant had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group online. Syed Farook, 28, and his 27-year-old wife Tashfeen Malik died in a shootout with police, hours after killing 14 people at a year-end party organized by Farook's employer in San Bernardino. AFP PHOTO / ROBYN BECK / AFP / ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
SAN BERNARDINO, CA - DECEMBER 04: People pray at a makeshift memorial near the Inland Regional Center on December 4, 2015 in San Bernardino, California. The FBI has officially labeled the attack carried out by Syed Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik as an act of terrorism. The San Bernardino community continues to mourn the attack at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino that left at least 14 people dead and another 21 injured. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Candles are seen at a makeshift memorial to the victims of a mass shooting, by suspects Syed Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik, on December 4, 2015 in San Bernardino, California. The FBI said Friday the mass shooting in California was being investigated as 'an act of terrorism,' amid reports the female assailant had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group online. AFP PHOTO / ROBYN BECK / AFP / ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
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Malik, with her husband Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, is accused of storming a holiday party on Wednesday in San Bernardino, California, and opening fire in America's worst mass shooting in three years.

The intensive search for clues, extending to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, could help U.S. investigators piece together what drove Malik and her husband to leave their infant daughter with his mother, don assault-style clothing and carry out the shooting.

Malik, who entered the United States on a fiancée visa, and Farook, the son of immigrant parents from Pakistan who had worked as a health inspector, were killed in a shootout with police just hours after the attack.

U.S. investigators were evaluating evidence that Malik, a Pakistani native who had been living in Saudi Arabia when she married Farook, had pledged allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, two U.S. government sources said. They said the finding, if confirmed, could be a "game changer" in the probe.

CNN reported that one U.S. official said Malik had made the pledge to al-Baghdadi in a posting on Facebook on Wednesday, the day of the attack, under an account that used a different name.

Though large information gaps remain, it appeared to be the strongest evidence so far that the attack may have been inspired by Islamic State. But U.S. government sources said there was no sign that it had been directed by the militant group, which has seized swathes of Syria and Iraq and claimed the deadly Nov. 13 attacks in Paris.

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FATHER BECAME "CONSERVATIVE AND HARDLINE"

Two Pakistani officials said Malik was from Karor Lal Esan, a city on the west coast of the Indus River in southern Punjab province. She moved to Saudi Arabia with her father, an engineer, 25 years ago, they said.

She returned home five or six years ago to study at Bahauddin Zakariya University in Multan to become a pharmacist, they said.

The area in Punjab where she spent her early years and later went to university is a "recruitment ground" and stronghold of Islamist groups with ties to al Qaeda, said Husain Haqqani, a former Pakistani ambassador to the United States. Among the militant groups with a presence there is Lashkar-e-Taiba, which has been blamed for the November 2008 killing spree in the Indian financial capital of Mumbai.

"Our brother changed a lot since he went to Saudi," Malik's uncle, Javed Rabbani, said of Malik's father. "When relatives visited him, they would come back and tell us how conservative and hardline he had become," he said in an interview with Reuters.

A source close to the Saudi government said that during Malik's time in Saudi Arabia nothing came to authorities' attention there that suggested she was involved with radical Islamic groups. Malik was not on any Saudi law enforcement or intelligence watchlist, the source said.

Malik's father, Gulzar, had built a house in Multan, where he stays when he visits Pakistan, according to another uncle, Malik Anwaar.

He said Gulzar had a falling-out long ago with the rest of the family, citing a dispute over a house among other matters. "We are completely estranged," Anwaar said.

Rabbani said he had been contacted by Pakistani intelligence as part of the investigation into the San Bernardino shooting.

Malik had two brothers and two sisters and was related to Ahmed Ali Aulak, a former provincial minister, the Pakistani officials said.

The exact circumstances of how Farook and Malik met remained unclear but they had apparently been married for two years. The Federal Bureau of Investigation said Malik was in the United States on a visa under a Pakistani passport.

While Farook had an active presence online, Malik's digital footprint is harder to trace. A Facebook profile established under an alias by Malik was removed by the company for violating its community standards, which prohibit praise or promotion of "acts of terror," a spokesman said on Friday.

But her name was attached to a gift registry for their baby hosted by the website TheBump.com. According to the registry, Malik's baby had been due on May 17.

Just hours before the couple opened fire on Farook's co-workers in a government building in San Bernardino, they had dropped off their daughter at his mother's house, telling her they had a doctor's appointment.

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