Watch CBS News

Authorities Turn To Digital Footprints Of San Bernardino Killers For Answers

LOS ANGELES ( — In an effort to better understand the motive for the San Bernardino shooting on Wednesday, authorities are hoping to track the digital footprints of Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik.

Local authorities are now focusing on computers to see emails and websites visited, digital storage devices, cellphone records and security cameras to gain a better understanding of the crimes.

"It's becoming rather apparent that these folks had something else in mind than simply shooting up a bunch of innocent people," former Redlands police chief Jim Bueermann said.

"Common sense dictates that they don't have that amount of ammunition, the extent of explosives tools and instruments of destruction that they did, without having some other intent," Bueermannn added.

The weapons and ammunition recovered between the two shooters amounted to thousands of dollars worth of equipment.


Farook and Malik used AR-15 rifles, which sell for around $600 at most retailers.

However, the rifle fires .223-caliber rounds, which cost around $300 per 1,000 rounds online.

Police found more than 6,000 rounds of ammunition and at least 13 pipe bombs in the vehicle, while many other bomb-making materials were also recovered at a home linked to Farook.

Authorities reported the duo fired at least 75 rounds into the room at the Inland Regional Center.

Farook and Malik also reportedly took steps to destroy online evidence, including deleting email accounts, destroying hard drives and breaking their cellphones, local authorities tied to case say.

David Bowdich, the assistant director of the FBI's Los Angeles office, said during a news conference that "the digital media is incredibly important."

The FBI has since flown the information it has acquired to Washington, D.C., for further analysis.

Farook was born in the United States, while Malik traveled to the country using a K-1 visa and Pakistani passport in 2014.

Officials say that uncovering the killers' digital footprints will be critical in determining whether or not the motive was associated with radical websites or groups.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.