“You will not apply my precept,” he said, shaking his head. “How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth? We know that he did not come through the door, the window, or the chimney. We also know that he could not have been concealed in the room, as there is no concealment possible. When, then, did he come?”
The Sign of the Four, ch. 6 (1890)
Sherlock Holmes in The Sign of the Four (Doubleday p. 111)

 

Tin foil Hat:  “Hey Doc?  You awake?”

Me: “Yeah, Hat, what do you want? It’s late.”

Tin foil Hat: “I got a theory about this whole Las Vegas thing”

Me:  How do you know about that, Hat?  You’ve been in the closet for weeks.”

Tinfoil Hat: “I got my sources, Doc.”

Me:  “Ok, ok Hat, what do you think is going on there?”

Tin Foil Hat: “Well, what do we know about this thing so far?”

Me: “Ok here’s the run down.  We know that since June, this 64 year old, wealthy retired real estate investor and CPA with a gambling problem has been collecting at least 47 guns, purchased in 4 different states.  Just prior to the incident, his girlfriend leaves town heading for her home country of the Philippines, and Mr. Realestate investor wires $100,000 to someone in the Philippines while simultaneously blowing thousands gambling.

He then checked into the Mandalay Bay hotel in a High roller suite on the 32nd floor, and over the course of three days manages to bring at least 12 auto and semiauto weapons in with him, right under the noses of security and house keeping.  Then, on Sunday, September 30 at 2208 this guy breaks 2 windows out of his suit and starts firing at people attending a country music festival below, killing 59 and causing more than 500 to be wounded, either by bullets or in the rush to flee.

The guy’s location is given away by smoke detectors, and hotel security approaches his room, and one of them is shot in the leg.  SWAT then responds, and the shooter, who can see them coming with a camera he rigged outside,  commits suicide by shooting himself in the head as they approach to breach the door.  The SWAT guys find guns, ammo, and a note, which we have not heard the contents of yet.

Girlfriend is located, initially in Tokyo later that evening, and is now coming home to be interviewed by the FBI.  No one has a motive, although ISIS has claimed him, but also there are videos that seem to show him at an antiTrump rally with a “Pussy Hat” on. There, that’s what we know, Hat.”

Tin foil Hat: “Great summary Doc, but here’s my theory–and it revolves around a few questions.”

Me:  “Ok, shoot.”

Tin foil Hat: “Why did the girlfriend leave?  Why did he have so many guns? Why did he wire money to the Philippines? Why did he have Ammonium Nitrate in his car?”

Me: “Hey, I didn’t mention the Ammonium Nitrate!”

Tin foil Hat: “Like I said, Doc, I got sources.”

I smiled.

“Do continue.”

Tin Foil Hat: “So here’s the theory to tie all this together:  We know this attack has been planned for quite some time, with purchase of the guns starting in June. He was going to different states to reduce the risk of somebody becoming suspicious of his large number of purchases.  Probably even paid cash for all the guns.  He had them stashed in different places as well, so as to hide the size of his gun collection. But why so many?  I think it was because he was not supposed to be alone.  There were supposed to be other shooters and he was gathering the guns for them. After all what does a Sniper do?”

Me:  “Provide overwatch.”

Tinfoil Hat:  “Correct!  So our shooter was there to provide cover for a team of shooters ON THE GROUND.  But there were no other shooters that we know of…why?  Because of the girl.”

Me:  “What about her?”

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Tin foil Hat: “I think she knew of the plan and got cold feet.  She left, and he sent her the $100,000 as hush money.”

Me:  “Ok, but whats that got to do with multiple shooters?”

Tin foil Hat: “That’s why they didn’t show–they knew she split and felt they had been compromised.  Or, they got cold feet independently.  So they dropped out, probably even as the shooter was setting up in the Hotel.”

Me:  “Well, why didn’t the shooter call it off? He could have just checked out and gone home.”

Tin foil Hat: “Good question–makes me wonder if the shooter felt he too was compromised, and therefore he had a choice–finish the job on his on, or risk exposure and not be able to do it. So he chose to go through with his part.”

Me:  “But what’s the motive?  Why did he do this to begin with?”

Tin foil Hat:  “We got choices.  He could have been ISIS recruited, and a newly minted radical islamist. Or, maybe he’s like the guy that shot Rep. Scalise, a radical leftist.  Or both.”

Me:  “So how do we find out?”

Tin foil Hat: “Trace his contacts, Trace the money, read the note he left, any computer communications, and, of course, the girl.  She knows something. Enough to start the ball rolling at least, I’d guess.”

Me: “She’ll be back tonight.”

Tin foil Hat: “I know.  The FBI will be interrogating her.  She’ll spill the beans.”

Me:  “How do you know that?”

Tin foil Hat:  “I got sources, Doc.”

I paused.

Me: “One more thing, Hat–what about the ammonium nitrate?”

Tin foil Hat: “Ah that…to me, that’s another sign the plan was compromised just before execution–they were going to build a bomb and set it off, then start shooting people in the panic afterwards.  Typical terrorist strategy.”

Me:  “Where are the other shooters or plotters?”

Tin foil Hat: “Dunno. I suppose that’s why the FBI is being hush-hush. They don’t want to give that part of the deal away while they pursue leads.”

Me:  “I hope you’re wrong, Hat.”

Tin Foil Hat:  “I hope I’m wrong too, Doc.  Good night.”

“Good night, Hat.”

 

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