A gunman who killed at least eight people and injured several others at a Texas shopping center was a 33-year-old suspected neo-Nazi sympathizer, police have said.
Police have named Mauricio Garcia as the gunman who opened fire on shoppers at the Allen Premium Outlets mall, in a suburb north of Dallas, on Saturday.
Garcia, who was shot dead by a police officer who happened to be at the scene, was armed with an “AR-15 style assault weapon,” according to President Joe Biden.
He was also wearing a tactical vest and was equipped with a handgun during the shooting, police added.
Garcia, who lived in Dallas, is believed to have interacted with neo-Nazi and white supremacist content online, as well as posting such content, two senior police sources told Sky News’s US partner, NBC News.
According to officers, an initial review of what are believed to be his social media accounts revealed hundreds of posts about ethnicity and race, including what is being described as violent extremist rhetoric.
Authorities also found a clothing patch with a far-right acronym on his chest.
The patch included the letters RWDS, believed to stand for Right Wing Death Squad, according to CBS, who cited two senior police sources.
Right Wing Death Squad are said to be a neo-Nazi group.
Detectives are also said to have interviewed Garcia’s relatives and friends about his ideological beliefs.
According to reports, Garcia lived with his parents in an area of northeast Dallas.
He is also reported to have worked as a security guard.
A neighbor, who asked to be identified only as Julie, told NBC she would see Garcia going to and coming home from work every day like clockwork.
“He tried to acknowledge us but seemed a little off,” Julie said. “He wasn’t somebody you could carry a conversation with.”
She said she was stunned when she learned the suspect’s identity.
Police and the Texas Rangers, working with the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, were investigating whether the shooting was racially or ethnically motivated, officials said.
However, they stressed that the investigation was ongoing and was at an early stage.