Latest on Texas attack: Cornyn says contest was free speech

Mother of Garland Gunman: 'He Was Not a Violent Person'
Mother of Garland Gunman: 'He Was Not a Violent Person'


3 p.m. CDT

Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn says the contest for cartoon depictions of the Prophet Muhammad was an expression of free speech.

Cornyn said Wednesday the weekend event in the Dallas suburb of Garland that resulted in the shooting deaths of two armed attackers was a "speech that perhaps you don't agree with or that may offend some people."

Cornyn has described the attackers as "ISIS-inspired," but acknowledged he had no evidence of a link to the radical Muslim group and had not been briefed by the FBI.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility Tuesday for the shooting, but counterterrorism experts said IS has a history of asserting involvement in attacks in which it had no operational role. That suggests the two gunmen could have carried out a lone wolf-style strike.

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1 p.m. CDT

The White House says intelligence officials had a lot to investigate related to the Islamic State group claim of responsibility for a shooting at a Texas cartoon contest that featured images of the Prophet Muhammad.

Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday analysts want to review whether the claim is accurate and at what level the Islamic State group may have known about the plan. He says they want to determine if the two men who opened fire at the Dallas-area contest and were fatally shot by authorities were in contact with the group.

A federal law enforcement official has said authorities had an open investigation into one of the men. The official said investigators will study the contacts the men had in the U.S. and abroad.