According to CBS News, the FBI announced they are investigating the Pensacola shooting with the presumption it was an act of terrorism. Officials stated they are investigating Friday’s attack as a terrorist incident in order to deploy more resources and help quickly eliminate potential threats.
They said their main goal is to confirm whether the shooter acted alone and if he was part of a larger network. The bureau has tasked nearly 100 FBI agents in the investigation, who are working hard to find answers as soon as they can.
“While there are many reports circulating regarding the shooter’s motivation and his alleged activities leading to his attack, I can tell you that we are looking very hard at uncovering his motive,” stated FBI Special Agent Rachel Rojas. “I would ask for patience so we can get this right.”
The FBI said Sunday that it will “work with the presumption that this was an act of terrorism” after aleft . The gunman has been identified as Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, 21, a Saudi national who was a naval student at Naval Air Station Pensacola.
“As we speak, members of the FBI join terrorism task force and counterterrorism division are working tirelessly to discern if any possible ideology may have been a factor in this attack, but they are working alongside members of our criminal team as well so we are all on the same page no matter which direction our investigation takes,” Rachel Rojas, the FBI special agent in charge of the investigation, said at a press conference Sunday.
Officials also stated they believe there was only one gunman and that no arrests have been made.
This announcement came after National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien claimed the Pensacola naval base shooting appeared to be a terrorist attack. O’Brien said Friday’s attack looked like it was carried out by an individual who may have been radicalized, either on U.S. soil or abroad.
“To me, it appears to be a terrorist attack,” stated O’Brien. “I don’t want to prejudge the investigation, but it appears that this maybe someone who was radicalized, whether it was here or (abroad)…it’s unclear if he’s got any ties to any other organizations.”
O’Brien went on to say the FBI is interrogating other Saudi students from the naval base. He said the investigation remains underway.
These comments came after the U.S. Navy identified the three victims of Friday’s shooting. 19-year-old Mohammed Haitham, 21-year-old Cameron Walters, and 23-year-old Joshua Watson were confirmed to be the victims on Saturday.
The sailors were killed after a gunman opened fire inside one of the base’s classrooms on Friday. Navy officials said the tragic event will have a “lasting impact on the installation and the community.”