Sources tell Orr that Loughner was angry with the government and targeted Congresswoman Giffords because she "represented the government" in his eyes, but that his anger was anti-government in general and did not appear to have an ideological bent - right or left.
His rambling and disjointed web postings and writings suggest a man who may have suffered from mental illness, touching on subjects like mind control, illiteracy, and the loss of a gold-base currency.
Special Section: Tragedy in Tucson
, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, paint a picture bolstered by other former classmates and Loughner's own Internet postings: that of a social outcast with nihilistic, almost indecipherable beliefs steeped in mistrust and paranoia.
"If you call me a terrorist then the argument to call me a terrorist is Ad hominem," the 22-year-old wrote Dec. 15 in a wide-ranging screed that was posted in video form and ended with nearly the same question his friends said he posed to Giffords: "What's government if words don't have meaning?"
On Sunday, in the shootings a day earlier at a political event outside a Tucson supermarket. Aside from the six killed, 14 people were injured. Doctors were optimistic about Giffords' chances for survival.
So far, Loughner hasn't cooperated with authorities and has offered no motivation for the attack, Orr reports. He is but isn't expected to say much, having invoked his 5th Amendment rights.
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Investigators said they carried out a search warrant at Loughner's home and seized a letter addressed to him from Giffords' congressional stationery in which she thanked him for attending a "Congress on your Corner" event at a mall in Tucson in 2007. Saturday's shooting occurred at a similar event.
Other evidence seized from his home included an envelope from a safe with messages such as " ," "My assassination" and the name "Giffords" next to what appears to be Loughner's signature. Police say he purchased the Glock pistol used in the attack in November.
Mistrust of government was Loughner's defining conviction, the friends said. He believed the U.S. government was behind the Sept. 11 attacks, and worried that governments were maneuvering to create a unified monetary system ("a New World Order currency" one friend said) so that social elites and bureaucrats could control the rest of the world.
On his YouTube page, he listed among his favorite books "Animal Farm" and "Brave New World" - two novels about how authorities control the masses. Other books in the wide-ranging list included "Mein Kampf," "The Communist Manifesto," "Peter Pan" and Aesop's Fables.
Officials say Loughner did not stalk Giffords and did not have her under any kind of 24/7 surveillance, but maintained a sort of "loose obsession" with her activities. Investigators believe he became more interested in Giffords after her recent re-election.
There is no indication that anyone knew of Loughner's plans for Saturday's shootings, sources tell Orr. The FBI has interviewed a former Loughner roommate who said that sometime between Christmas and New Year's, Loughner showed him the gun that he had purchased. That made the ex-roommate uncomfortable but Loughner made no threats and the meeting was not reported to anyone else.
Officials say that Loughner represents, in many ways, the most difficult type of threat to detect -a loner with no serious scriminal record and no history of mental health treatment who was able to obtain a weapon legally.
Loughner also had a bizarre shrine in his back yard, the New York Daily News reported Monday.