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'We may never know': FBI unable to retrieve data from Greenwood mall shooter's laptop, still working on phone

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Posted at 11:38 AM, Aug 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-11 13:40:36-04

INDIANAPOLIS — The Federal Bureau of Investigations said Thursday they can't retrieve any data from the laptop recovered of the suspect in the Greenwood Park Mall shooting.

The laptop was found in an oven at the suspect's apartment sometime after the shooting took place. It is unclear how long it was left inside the oven.

FBI Indianapolis Special Agent in Charge Herbert Stapleton said the agency is still working to recover data from a mobile device found in a toilet in the mall bathrooms. He said part of the process is trying to dry out the phone.

"We are not at a point where we have to top any type of forensic examination because we do still believe we are going to be able to recover some type of data but we don't know for sure," Stapleton said.

Stapleton said they are still working to access the device and hope if they are able to they can recover data. He didn't have a timeline for when they might be able to complete the process.

Once Greenwood police and the FBI finish their investigations, Stapleton said he anticipates more information being released to the public through the media.

"There really isn't a timeline for that because it's more important at this stage that we do this thoroughly than try to put arbitrary timelines on that," Stapleton said. "We continue to work at that as quickly as we possibly can, putting a lot of effort into that in cooperation with our local and state partners."

Police officers and FBI agents found the laptop and a can of butane inside the oven in his apartment. Stapleton said the laptop was "severely damaged."

"We may never know what was in the mind of the shooter at the time," Stapleton said.

FBI agents are still interviewing witnesses and people who knew the suspect to try to have a better idea of what happened. Stapleton wouldn't speak to anything uncovered about the suspect's social media footprint.

Agents are working alongside the Greenwood Police Department as they both continue to investigate. An FBI special agent has been assigned to work alongside the lead detective from the Greenwood Police Department investigating the case.

At the scene, the FBI's Evidence Response Team was focused on recovering evidence and analyzing it, Stapleton said. He said the people on the team have experience with working mass casualty teams so they were able to support Greenwood police officers.

Speaking in general terms and not specifically about the Greenwood mall shooting, Stapleton said evidence will be analyzed in Indianapolis or in the state when possible, but sometimes evidence requires advanced tools or techniques and is sent to the agency's Operational Technology Division in Virginia.

The Greenwood Police Department is still the lead investigative agency.

Victor Gomez, 30, Pedro Pineda, 56, and Rosa Mirian Rivera de Pineda, 37 were all killed in the shooting on July 17.

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