Las Vegas sheriff, in emotional press conference, admits he's still searching for answers

Joe Lombardo was having a late dinner with friends from out of town when his cellphone suddenly blew up with messages. Shots had been fired on the south end of the Las Vegas Strip, about 10 minutes from where he was. With a few rushed apologies, he stood and ran out, hoping it would be only a minor diversion.

It took just seconds for Lombardo, the Clark County sheriff, to realize this would be no ordinary Sunday-night call. As he rushed past unsuspecting crowds illuminated by the flashing lights of the casinos along the north end of the Strip, radio traffic revealed chaos mere blocks away outside the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, where officers and thousands of attendees at a country music concert were being sprayed with gunfire by an assailant whose location was not yet known.

Nearly two weeks later, Lombardo still doesn’t have the answers he has been seeking ever since, to the how and, more important, the why of the horrific attack. But at a press briefing Friday afternoon that clarified some of the events of that night, while raising new questions, the stoic lawman gave vent to some of the emotions that have been roiling him ever since.

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Las Vegas mass shooting survivors
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Las Vegas mass shooting survivors
Paola Bautista, 39, from Fontana, California, (R) sits in her hospital bed next to her sister Daisy Bautista at Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center after being shot at the Route 91 music festival mass shooting next to the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. October 4, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Braden Matejka, 30, (L) and his girlfriend Amanda Homulos, 23, from British Columbia, Canada sit outside Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center after he was discharged after being shot at the Route 91 music festival mass shooting next to the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. October 4, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 4: Kassidy Owen, 22, left, and Taylor Schmidt, 21, both of Las Vegas, NV, are photographed on Wednesday, October 4, 2017, in Las Vegas, NV. Owen and Schmidt both survived the mass shooting on Sunday's evening. Sometimes I think it happened then the next second I say did that really happend,' Owen said. 'I keep hearing the shots in my head, people running and hear the ambulances,' she added. (Photo by Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 4: Veteran Steve Charshafian, 59, speaks about Sunday's night mass shooting and recalls helping wounded people on Wednesday, October 4, 2017, in Las Vegas, NV. Charshafian survived the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival shooting with his wife when they hid inside their car. (Photo by Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 04: Aaron Stalker is interviewed outside Dance Dynamics on Wednesday October 04, 2017 in Las Vegas, NV. Stalker helped to evacuate and care for victims during Sunday night's mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival. Aaron was attending a hockey game when his girlfriend, Stephanie Melanson called him from the concert. (Photo by Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS - OCTOBER 3: Jonathan Smith was shot at least twice while trying to run back and save others in the crowd at the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas. (Photo by Heather Long/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 03: Brian Hopkins, the lead singer of the band Elvis Monroe, is interviewed by a tv reported on the south end of the Las Vegas Strip on the on October 3, 2017, after the mass shooting that killed 59 people and inured more than 500 people at the Route 91 Harvest Festival near Mandalay Bay on October 1, 2017, in Las Vegas, NV. Hopkins took over 20 people into a freezer near the venue. Hopkins filmed himself during the shooting, still unsure of what the chaos was going on outside in the venue. (Photo by Doug Kranz/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - OCTOBER 2: With the presence of her family, Danny Alegria, from left, Evan Algeria and Lucy Alegria - Carmen Alegria recounts her harrowing experience surviving and escaping the mass shooting that killed 59 and injured more than 525 at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Oct. 2, 2017. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
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As he approached the scene, Lombardo saw hundreds of people running for their lives up Las Vegas Boulevard and along the side streets and in parking lots, some covered in blood. By then the shooting had stopped, and his officers were closing in on the suspected gunman, later identified as Stephen Paddock, who was holed up on the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay. But the horror was far from over.

Lombardo’s radio crackled with word of casualties, including reports of dozens of lifeless bodies in and around the Route 91 Harvest Festival concert grounds and word that some of his responding officers were down, wounded by gunfire when Paddock apparently took aim at law enforcement responding to the scene. There were also reports, later dispelled, of shots being fired at other nearby casinos along the Strip.

Slideshow: Scenes from Las Vegas mass shooting >>>

For Lombardo, a 29-year veteran of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, it was the nightmare he had always feared, the one he had tried to prepare his department for. He had methodically studied mass shootings, including the 2015 terror attack in San Bernardino, Calif., and the Pulse nightclub shooting last year in Orlando, to heed lessons for his own officers. He had even traveled to Mumbai, India, to study firsthand the 2008 terrorist attacks where 164 people were killed in a series of coordinated strikes against hotels and other public spaces — aware that terrorist groups had long mentioned Las Vegas as a possible target.

But one of his biggest concerns as sheriff, he told the Las Vegas Sun in 2015, was a “lone wolf” attacker. “The person here locally that is disgruntled with government, separatist, anarchist, those types of individuals,” Lombardo said. Someone, he said, willing to act “on their own.”

As Lombardo later told reporters, even though his officers were doing everything they had been trained to do that Sunday night in reaction to a mass shooting event, nothing had fully prepared him or anyone to be confronted with this type of horror on their own doorstep.

“It just kept getting worse and worse,” Lombardo told KLAS-TV, the CBS affiliate in Las Vegas.

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Heartbreaking scenes from Las Vegas shooting vigils and memorial services
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Heartbreaking scenes from Las Vegas shooting vigils and memorial services
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 2: Mourners attend a candlelight vigil at the corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard for the victims of Sunday night's mass shooting, October 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Late Sunday night, a lone gunman killed more than 50 people and injured more than 500 people after he opened fire on a large crowd at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, a three-day country music festival. The massacre is one of the deadliest mass shooting events in U.S. history. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 02: People gather at the Ascend Amphitheater for a vigil honoring the victims of the mass shooting in Las Vegas on October 2, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. At least 58 people were killed and 500 wounded at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas Sunday night. (Photo by Joe Buglewicz/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - OCTOBER 2: UNLV students reflect on words of wisdom dispersed during a candle light vigil for the victims of the mass shootings that killed 59 people and injured more than 525, in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Oct. 2, 2017. (Photo by Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 02: People gather at the Ascend Amphitheater for a vigil honoring the victims of the mass shooting in Las Vegas on October 2, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. At least 58 people were killed and 500 wounded at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas Sunday night. (Photo by Joe Buglewicz/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 02: People hand out candles at the Ascend Amphitheater for a vigil honoring the victims of the mass shooting in Las Vegas on October 2, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. At least 58 people were killed and 500 wounded at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas Sunday night. (Photo by Joe Buglewicz/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 02: Singers/Songwriters Alison Krauss and The Cox Family perform during Nashville Candelight Vigil For Las Vegas at Ascend Amphitheater on October 2, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 02: People light candles at the Ascend Amphitheater for a vigil honoring the victims of the mass shooting in Las Vegas on October 2, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. At least 58 people were killed and 500 wounded at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas Sunday night. (Photo by Joe Buglewicz/Getty Images)
A woman mourns during an interfaith memorial service for victims of the Route 91 music festival mass shooting outside the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. October 2, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
People mourn during an interfaith memorial service for victims of the Route 91 music festival mass shooting outside the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. October 2, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
People mourn after an interfaith memorial service for victims of the Route 91 music festival mass shooting outside the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. October 2, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 02: People gather at the Ascend Amphitheater for a vigil honoring the victims of the mass shooting in Las Vegas on October 2, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. At least 58 people were killed and 500 wounded at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas Sunday night. (Photo by Joe Buglewicz/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 02: Sophie Cass, 10, hands out candles at the Ascend Amphitheater for a vigil honoring the victims of the mass shooting in Las Vegas on October 2, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. At least 58 people were killed and 500 wounded at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas Sunday night. (Photo by Joe Buglewicz/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 02: The Rev. Paul Goulet (L) and the Rev. David Shearin light candles during a prayer vigil outside Las Vegas City Hall in response to Sunday's mass shooting on October 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. A lone gunman opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest country music festival on October 1 leaving 59 dead and hundreds wounded. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 02: A stack of #VegasStrong flyers are displayed during a prayer vigil outside Las Vegas City Hall in response to Sunday's mass shooting on October 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. A lone gunman opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest country music festival on October 1 leaving 59 dead and hundreds wounded. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 02: People gather during a candlelight vigil for victims of the Las Vegas shooting at Ascend Amphitheater on October 2, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 02: People gather during a candlelight vigil for victims of the Las Vegas shooting at Ascend Amphitheater on October 2, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 02: General view during Nashville Candelight Vigil For Las Vegas at Ascend Amphitheater on October 2, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 02: Dominic De Patta of Nevada holds a candle and a #VegasStrong flyer during a prayer vigil outside Las Vegas City Hall in response to Sunday's mass shooting on October 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. A lone gunman opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest country music festival on October 1, leaving 59 dead and hundreds wounded. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 02: People gather during a candlelight vigil for victims of the Las Vegas shooting at Ascend Amphitheater on October 2, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)
People mourn after an interfaith memorial service for victims of the Route 91 music festival mass shooting outside the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. October 2, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
A girl attends an interfaith memorial service for victims of the Route 91 music festival mass shooting outside the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. October 2, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Pastor William McCurdy (C) attends a prayer vigil, in honor of those affected by the shooting on the Las Vegas Strip, in front of Las Vegas City Hall in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. October 2, 2017. REUTERS/Las Vegas Sun/Steve Marcus
People mourn during an interfaith memorial service for victims of the Route 91 music festival mass shooting outside the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. October 2, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - OCTOBER 2: UNLV students and their families gather during a candle light vigil for the victims of the mass shootings that killed 59 people and injured more than 525, in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Oct. 2, 2017. (Photo by Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - OCTOBER 2: A UNLV student reflects on the message given during a candle light vigil for the victims of the mass shootings that killed 59 people and injured more than 525, in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Oct. 2, 2017. (Photo by Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 2: Mourners attend a candlelight vigil at the corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard for the victims of Sunday night's mass shooting, October 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Late Sunday night, a lone gunman killed more than 50 people and injured more than 500 people after he opened fire on a large crowd at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, a three-day country music festival. The massacre is one of the deadliest mass shooting events in U.S. history. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 02: The Rev. David Shearin (L) and the Rev. Mike Hatch hold candles as they pray during a prayer vigil outside Las Vegas City Hall in response to Sunday's mass shooting on October 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. A lone gunman opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest country music festival on October 1 leaving 59 dead and hundreds wounded. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 2: Mourners attend a candlelight vigil at the corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard for the victims of Sunday night's mass shooting, October 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Late Sunday night, a lone gunman killed more than 50 people and injured more than 500 people after he opened fire on a large crowd at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, a three-day country music festival. The massacre is one of the deadliest mass shooting events in U.S. history. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 02: People gather during a candlelight vigil for victims of the Las Vegas shooting at Ascend Amphitheater on October 2, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 02: Jon Dimaya (C) of Nevada, a rapid response team nurse at Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center, and his sons Ethan Dimaya (L) and Gryffin Dimaya (R) hold signs during a prayer vigil outside Las Vegas City Hall in response to Sunday's mass shooting on October 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. A lone gunman opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest country music festival on October 1, leaving 59 dead and hundreds wounded. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 02: People gather at the Ascend Amphitheater for a vigil honoring the victims of the mass shooting in Las Vegas on October 2, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. At least 58 people were killed and 500 wounded at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas Sunday night. (Photo by Joe Buglewicz/Getty Images)
A man mourns during an interfaith memorial service for victims of the Route 91 music festival mass shooting outside the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. October 2, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Alexander Wells, 9, attends a prayer vigil, in honor of those affected by the shooting on the Las Vegas Strip, in front of Las Vegas City Hall in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. October 2, 2017. REUTERS/Las Vegas Sun/Steve Marcus
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 2: Mourners light candles during a vigil at the corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard for the victims of Sunday night's mass shooting, October 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Late Sunday night, a lone gunman killed more than 50 people and injured more than 500 people after he opened fire on a large crowd at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, a three-day country music festival. The massacre is one of the deadliest mass shooting events in U.S. history. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 2: Mourners attend a candlelight vigil at the corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard for the victims of Sunday night's mass shooting, October 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Late Sunday night, a lone gunman killed more than 50 people and injured more than 500 people after he opened fire on a large crowd at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, a three-day country music festival. The massacre is one of the deadliest mass shooting events in U.S. history. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 2: Mourners attend a candlelight vigil at the corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard for the victims of Sunday night's mass shooting, October 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Late Sunday night, a lone gunman killed more than 50 people and injured more than 500 people after he opened fire on a large crowd at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, a three-day country music festival. The massacre is one of the deadliest mass shooting events in U.S. history. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 2: Mourners attend a candlelight vigil at the corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard for the victims of Sunday night's mass shooting, October 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Late Sunday night, a lone gunman killed more than 50 people and injured more than 500 people after he opened fire on a large crowd at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, a three-day country music festival. The massacre is one of the deadliest mass shooting events in U.S. history. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - OCTOBER 2: UNLV students reflect on words of wisdom dispersed during a candle light vigil for the victims of the mass shootings that killed 59 people and injured more than 525, in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Oct. 2, 2017. (Photo by Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 02: A music group performs during a vigil at Guardian Angel Cathedral for the victims of the Route 91 Harvest country music festival shootings on October 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Lone gunman Stephan Paddock, 64, of Mesquite, Nevada opened fire on festival attendees leaving at least 59 dead and over 500 injured before killing himself. The investigation is ongoing. (Photo by Denise Truscello/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 02: A woman touches a staue of the Blessed Mother Mary during a vigil at Guardian Angel Cathedral for the victims of the Route 91 Harvest country music festival shootings on October 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Lone gunman Stephan Paddock, 64, of Mesquite, Nevada opened fire on festival attendees leaving at least 59 dead and over 500 injured before killing himself. The investigation is ongoing. (Photo by Denise Truscello/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 02: A vigil on the Las Vegas strip for the victims of the Route 91 Harvest country music festival shootings on October 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Lone gunman Stephan Paddock, 64, of Mesquite, Nevada opened fire on festival attendees leaving at least 59 dead and over 500 injured before killing himself. The investigation is ongoing. (Photo by Denise Truscello/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 02: Aryanna Williams, 6, and Mickey Deustch, 8, of Las Vegas, Nevada attend a vigil on the Las Vegas strip for the victims of the Route 91 Harvest country music festival shootings on October 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Lone gunman Stephan Paddock, 64, of Mesquite, Nevada opened fire on festival attendees leaving at least 59 dead and over 500 injured before killing himself. The investigation is ongoing. (Photo by Denise Truscello/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 2: Mourners attend a candlelight vigil at the corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard for the victims of Sunday night's mass shooting, October 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Late Sunday night, a lone gunman killed more than 50 people and injured more than 500 people after he opened fire on a large crowd at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, a three-day country music festival. The massacre is one of the deadliest mass shooting events in U.S. history. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
A sign is pictured at a vigil on the Las Vegas strip following a mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., October 2, 2017. Picture taken October 2, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Wattie
A police officer writes a message on a sign at a vigil on the Las Vegas strip following a mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., October 2, 2017. Picture taken October 2, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Wattie
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In the nearly two weeks since Paddock broke the windows of his suite at Mandalay Bay and rained gunfire on roughly 22,000 concertgoers below, killing 58 and injuring more than 540, Lombardo has become the face of the ongoing investigation. Plain-spoken, with a matter-of-fact delivery, the sheriff has been the primary conduit of information for his community and the television audience at large from around the world as people grapple for answers to why Paddock created such carnage.

Lombardo has won praise for his down-to-earth, even-keeled demeanor, and seems more forthcoming than other law enforcement officials, including the FBI, who have publicly spoken about the case. He has insisted on “telling the public what I know when I know it,” as he explains it, to “provide calmness in the community.”

While Lombardo has warned the media and others against speculation, he has been open about his own theories. He has repeatedly questioned how Paddock, a 64-year-old real estate investor and avid gambler, could have planned the attack with no one noticing or helping.

“Do you think all of this was accomplished on his own?” Lombardo said at a briefing last week. “Face value, you’ve got to make the assumption that he had to have help at some point.” He said “it would be hard for me to believe” that Paddock did all the preparations totally on his own.

The sheriff has also said he believes Paddock — who had 50 pounds of explosive material and another 1,600 rounds of ammunition in his car, parked in the casino’s garage — intended to escape. But he acknowledged that not everyone involved in the investigation agrees with him.

Lombardo has not tried to conceal his own frustration with the pace of the investigation. After nearly two weeks, police still have no clear motive for one of the worst mass shootings in American history. And as the mystery has deepened about Paddock, who had no record of mental illness or political or religious extremism, Lombardo has openly questioned whether a motive will ever be established.

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Victims of the Las Vegas shooting
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Victims of the Las Vegas shooting
Chris Roybal of Southern California, was a Navy veteran who served in Afghanistan, ABC News said. He was 28.

(Photo via GoFundMe)

Sonny Melton (pictured right) is seen with his wife Heather, who survived the shooting.

(Photo via Heather Gulish Melton)

Quinton Robbins, 20, is described by his aunt as "the most kind and loving soul."

(Photo via Kilee Wells Sanders/Facebook)

Jordan McIldoon (left), 23, of British Columbia, was confirmed dead by his parents as well as fellow concert-goer Heather Gooze, who said McIldoon died in her arms. 

(Photo via Facebook)

Victim of the October 1, 2017 mass shooting at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Jordan McIldoon, is seen in this undated social media photo obtained by Reuters October 3, 2017. Social media/Handout via REUTERS

Jassica Klymchuk, a single mother of 4, was visiting Las Vegas from Alberta with her fiancé. 

(Photo via Facebook)

Lisa Romero worked as a secretary at her local high school in Gallup, New Mexico. 

(Photo via Facebook)

Denise Burditus, of West Virginia, was attending the concert with her husband, and died in his arms. 

(Photo via Facebook)

Rachael Parker was a records technician for the Manhattan Beach Police Department in California, she was 33. 

(Photo via Twitter)
Susan Smith worked for the Simi Valley Unified School District in California.

(Photo via Facebook)

Adrian Murfitt was a commercial fisherman in Anchorage, Alaska, the Alaska Dispatch News reported. He was 35.

(Social media/Handout via REUTERS)

John Phippen of Santa Clarita, California, was a father of five, grandfather of one and owned a remodeling and repair company. 

(Photo via GoFundMe)

Angie Gomez was a 2015 graduate of Riverside Polytechnic High School in California.

(Photo via GoFundMe)

Victim of the October 1, 2017 mass shooting at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Angie Gomez, is seen in this undated social media photo obtained by Reuters October 3, 2017. Social media/Handout via REUTERS

Dana Gardner (pictured left) was attending the concert with her daughter, according to a GoFundMe page set up in her memory.

(Photo via GoFundMe)

Rhonda LeRocque attended the concert with her husband, and their 7-year-old daughter, who were not injured, according to the Boston Globe.

(Photo via Facebook)
Jenny Parks was a wife, mother to two young children and a teacher, according to a GoFundMe account set up in her memory.

(Photo via Facebook)
Nesya Tonks was the mother of three boys, according to a GoFundMe set up by her employeer, Technologent.

(Photo via GoFundMe)

Hannah Ahlers is survived by her husband and three children.

Photo Credit: Facebook

Carrie Barnette, 34, was in Las Vegas for a friends 30th birthday party.

Photo Credit: Nicole Johnson

Sandy Casey had taught special education for 9 years at the Manhattan Beach Unified School District. 

Photo Credit: Manhattan Beach Unified School District

Victim of the October 1, 2017 mass shooting at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Sandy Casey, is seen in this undated social media photo

(Social media/Handout via REUTERS)

Thomas Day Jr. is survived by his four children who attended the Route 91 Harvest Festival with him. 

Photo Credit: Thomas Day Jr./Facebook

Charleston Hartfield, 34, was an off-duty Las Vegas police officer, youth football coach, and military veteran. Our… https://t.co/UafOdLrcFz

Bailey Schweitzer was only 20 years old and had just started working at Infinity Communications and consulting as a receptionist 7 months ago. 

Photo Credit: Infinity Communications and Consulting

Victim of the October 1, 2017 mass shooting at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Bailey Schweitzer, is seen in this undated social media photo obtained by Reuters October 3, 2017. Social media/Handout via REUTERS
Victim of the October 1, 2017 mass shooting at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Melissa Ramirez, is seen in this undated social media photo obtained by Reuters October 3, 2017. Social media/Handout via REUTERS
Victim of the October 1, 2017 mass shooting at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Jack Beaton, is seen in this undated social media photo obtained by Reuters October 3, 2017. Social media/Handout via REUTERS
Christiana Duarte had begun working at her first full-time job since graduated college, according to the Los Angeles Times.

(Photo via Facebook)
Stacee Etcheber was a mother and wife to a San Francisco Police Dept. officer.

(Photo via Facebook)
Jennifer Topaz Irvine was a family law attorney based in San Diego, according to CBS News.

(Photo via Facebook
A fourth Kern County resident has passed away: Family of 27 y.o. Kelsey Meadows, confirm that she is the fourth Ker… https://t.co/DdzsCXbBh5
Calla Medig was described as a kind-hearted young woman with a beaming smile, according to CBC News in Canada.

(Photo via Facebook)
Cameron Robinson (pictured right) was an amazing friend, son, brother, uncle, cousin, coworker and boyfriend known for his love of cooking and dancing, according to a fundraising page set up in his memory.

(Photo via GoFundMe)
Family tells me Kurt Von Tillow from Cameron Park was killed in #LasVegasShooting. Say he ❤️ his country. Always wo… https://t.co/w7Ndiq5YlO

Bill Wolfe Jr. was a loving husband and a wrestling coach in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania.


(Photo via GoFundMe)

A fundraising account set up for Dorene Anderson (pictured top left) described her as a loving wife, mother, sister, aunt and friend.

(Phot via GoFundMe)

Steve Berger was celebrating his 44th birthday with a group of friends, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

(Photo via EFS Advisors)

Tara Roe Smith was the mother of two young sons, according to the Canadian Press. She was reportedly separated from her husband, Zach, during the shooting.  

(Photo via GoFundMe)
Erick Silva has been identified as one of the victims in the #LasVegasShooting https://t.co/uv3taTQCqU

Brennan Stewart had a love for music and his family requested that the funds raised from a GoFundMe account set up in his honor be used for a local youth organization that is centered around the arts.

(Photo via GoFundMe)

Michelle Vo was attending her first country music concert, according to the San Jose Mercury News.


(Photo via Facebook)

Heather Alvarado loved to travel with her three children and her husband, according to a statement released by the Cedar City Police Department to local media.

(Photo via GoFundMe)

Denise Cohen was a mother of two who was attending the concert with her boyfriend.

(Social media/Handout via REUTERS)

Victim of the October 1, 2017 mass shooting at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Jordyn Rivera, is seen in this undated social media photo.

(Social media/Handout via REUTERS)

Candice Bowers was a single mother of three and is described her as a superhero who loved country music; she was ki… https://t.co/9qh6ARaN2I
Andrea Castilla was celebrating her 28th birthday with her sister, boyfriend and her sister's fiancee, according to a GoFundMe page set up by her family.

(Photo via Facebook)
Austin Davis was considered a friend to all, according to a fundraising site set up in his memory. He was 29.

(Photo via GoFundMe)
Chris Hazencomb saved his friend's life by shielding her, the Ventura County Star reported. He was 44.

(Photo via GoFundMe)
Victor Link, 52, “I could type for hours saying how great of a man you were and how everyone loves you so so much.”… https://t.co/qu3fOQ3jY7
Lisa Patterson was a loving mother, wife and donated countless hours to her community, according to a GoFundMe account. She was 46.

(Photo via GoFundMe)
Rocio Guillen Rocha was still on maternity leave after giving birth to her fourth child six weeks ago, NPR reported. She was 40.

(Photo via GoFundMe)
Derrick "Bo" Taylor served the Ventura Conservation Camp for decades according to statement by the California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation. He was 56.

(Photo via Facebook)
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“There’s a chance we may never know,” he told reporters this week. “There are questions that may never get answered.”

The investigation has cast a spotlight on the sheriff, who, according to those who know him, does not enjoy the limelight. Lombardo, 54, was born in Japan. His father, a sergeant in the Air Force, was transferred to Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas in 1976, when Lombardo was 14.

After high school, Lombardo joined the Army before enrolling at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, where he got a civil engineering degree. But soon he followed his father, who had retired from the Air Force and joined the Las Vegas police department, into law enforcement. Lombardo joined the Las Vegas police in 1988 — and while working his way up the ranks, he got a master’s degree in crisis management from UNLV and from the FBI National Academy, both in 2006.

In 2014 Lombardo, a Republican, ran for and was elected Clark County sheriff — a job that, unlike in other big cities, involves running both the sheriff’s department and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. More than 3,500 officers report to him, and his jurisdiction spans roughly 8,000 square miles — including the city of Las Vegas and the rest of Clark County, which extends nearly 100 miles east toward the Utah border and 100 miles south toward Arizona.

While much of the land is unsettled desert or farmland, it has not been without drama. In 2014 Lombardo, as assistant sheriff, was the lead tactical commander in responding to a standoff between rancher Cliven Bundy and his supporters and officials of the Bureau of Land Management who had confiscated cattle that Bundy had been grazing on federal land. Lombardo helped negotiate the release of cattle, allowing the standoff to end peacefully.

As sheriff, Lombardo has grappled with restructuring a police department that has come under Justice Department scrutiny for its frequent police shootings and its relationship with the black community. In a high-profile event over the summer, Seattle Seahawks player Michael Bennett accused Las Vegas police of targeting him in a traffic stop because he was black and of using excessive force. Lombardo has said his officers acted properly but has allowed that more work needs to be done establishing trust between his department and the community.

But now Lombardo faces one of the biggest challenges of his career — heading an investigation of an incident in which a man appears to have taken deadly aim at people while leaving no obvious clues or explanation for why he did so. In the days since the Oct. 1 shooting, Lombardo has grown more and more outwardly frustrated in the search for Paddock’s motive.

“We still don’t know why,” Lombardo told reporters earlier this week. “And it’s not for a lack of trying.”

With that mystery comes increased scrutiny on other parts of the investigation — including on the police response to the shooting.

On Monday, Lombardo released a significantly revised timeline of the shooting, indicating that Paddock shot a hotel security guard six minutes before he started firing on concertgoers. The timeline, which was disputed by MGM Resorts, the owner of Mandalay Bay, raised questions about why it took police so long to locate the gunman, and a possible failure in communication between officers and Mandalay Bay, which presumably would have reported that one of its guards had been shot.

On Friday, Lombardo corrected the timeline once again — bristling at what he described as people in “cyberspace” questioning the integrity of not only his investigation but his own personal integrity. “I provided you the information as I knew it, and everybody in here knew it was going to change,” he said, visibly irritated. “The dynamics of this investigation are far-reaching. It’s wide. It’s huge, and you can’t expect exact answers in the early throes.”

In their initial account police said the security guard, Jesus Campos, was shot around 10:15 p.m. — about 10 minutes into the attack — when Paddock discharged a volley of gunfire through the door of his room after seeing Campos approach on a baby monitor the shooter had placed on a room service cart. Police had originally portrayed Campos as a hero, telling reporters he had interrupted and stopped the killing and alerted law enforcement about the location of Paddock’s room.

But on Monday police said Campos, who was unarmed, was shot and wounded at 9:59 p.m. as he investigated an apparently unrelated alarm for an open door on the floor — six minutes before Paddock began firing out his window at 10:05. Police now say they have no idea why Paddock, who had a large quantity of ammunition and other loaded weapons in his room, stopped his rampage 10 minutes later.

Lombardo said Campos had alerted Mandalay Bay security that he had been shot, but police hunting for the gunman learned this only when they found him lying wounded in the hallway. By that time Paddock had stopped shooting.

According to the updated timeline released Monday, police officers reached the 31st floor of the resort and casino at 10:12 p.m. — where, they reported to colleagues, they could hear shots being fired above them. Officers reached the 32nd floor, where Paddock was staying in Room 135, at 10:17, two minutes after he stopped shooting. They found Campos a minute later, at 10:18 p.m., and the security guard pointed them to Paddock’s room. Police did not breach Paddock’s room until 11:20 p.m. — more than an hour later — where they found him dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

But that timeline was disputed by MGM Resorts, which released a statement Thursday saying the 9:59 p.m. report was “not accurate.” “We know that shots were being fired at the festival lot at the same time as, or within 40 seconds after, the time Jesus Campos first reported that shots were fired over the radio,” the statement read. “Metro officers were together with armed Mandalay Bay security officers in the building when Campos first reported that shots were fired over the radio. These Metro officers and armed Mandalay Bay security officers immediately responded to the 32nd floor.”

On Friday Lombardo defended the revised timeline, specifically regarding the 9:59 p.m. time print, but said “circumstances associated” with it had changed and the police timeline was “not in conflict” with the MGM Resorts statement. The sheriff explained that a “human entry” in a hotel security log provided to police had listed 9:59 p.m. as the moment Campos had first encountered Paddock. But he said it now appears that the entry marked the time when Campos, attempting to reach the 32nd floor, discovered that a stairwell door near Paddock’s room had been barricaded.

Unable to access the floor from that stairwell, Campos, according to Lombardo, took another route, and was actually shot at 10:05 p.m., about the same time when Paddock began taking aim at concertgoers outside his window.

But the sheriff did not clarify remaining questions, including what time Mandalay Bay officials alerted police that Campos had been shot or why it still took 12 minutes for cops to make it to the 32nd floor. On Friday, Lombardo repeated that Campos alerted security at Mandalay Bay of the gunfire — via both radio and his cellphone. But, uncharacteristically, he declined to take follow-up questions.

Lombardo, who has declined most national media requests except for an appearance on “60 Minutes” that aired last Sunday, was unapologetic about the changing facts of the case. And he pushed back against criticism that the shifting timeline was evidence of “incompetence” or “conspiracy” by his department.

“I am absolutely offended by that characterization,” he insisted. “There is no conspiracy. … Nobody is attempting to hide anything.”

The details, he added, are likely to change again.

In the 12 days since the shooting, Lombardo says he hasn’t slept much. A few hours here, a few hours there — mostly on a ragged old couch in his office at police headquarters. He and others have been combing through more than 1,000 tips from the public, trying to answer the mystery behind why someone who had led an otherwise unremarkable life would suddenly become a mass killer.

“Part of me losing sleep is, did I miss something? Did I fail to do something? Did my people fail to do something?” he told the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Tuesday. “You immediately think you’re gonna know the reasons why in the short term. Now, here we are a week after the fact, and we still don’t know.”

On Friday, 12 days after the shooting, the sheriff looked and sounded exhausted. And after days of being matter-of-fact and in control, he became visibly emotional discussing officers who had selflessly run toward the scene to save lives, even as the bullets continued to rain down. Several officers, he said, were severely wounded when Paddock began shooting at them as they drove up to the scene — a diversion that injured them, but likely saved the lives of others.

One of the officers, Brady Cook, had four gunshot wounds, including in the chest. “The reason I bring him up,” Lombardo said, choking back tears, “is because he asked me if he could come back to work today.”

The sheriff paused, trying to regain his composure. “Excuse me for my emotion,” he said, his voice quivering.

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