Saldivar told police he felt encouraged by other therapists who gave him the room numbers of terminally ill patients at Glendale Adventist Medical Center. Sources close to the case tell CBS News that police are investigating other respiratory therapists for their alleged involvement in hastening the death of patients.
"There are some that still have to go through the process of being interviewed by police and hospital officials," reports CBS News Correspondent Vince Gonzalez. "There are three respiratory therapists police singled out. They will not be returning to work for quite some time."
Saldivar has not been charged because there is not enough evidence. He does face a hearing Tuesday, but not in criminal court. It is up to an administrative law judge to decide whether to suspend indefinitely or even revoke Saldivar's license to practice respiratory therapy. That would keep him from working at another California hospital.
Court documents show Saldivar told investigators he considered himself an "angel of death," priding himself on using "very ethical criteria as to how he picked his unconscious victims."
When the story broke, the hospital suspended 40 respiratory therapists to allay public fears.
"We're a hospital that's in the business of keeping people well and healthy and alive. We're not in the business of helping our patients die," says hospital spokesman Mark Newmyer.
Sgt. Rick Young of the Glendale Police Department noted, "We're getting calls from all over the United States, and even outside the United States, [from] people who have lost loved ones and other hospitals around the United States concerned that this man worked in their hospitals."
The next step in the police investigation will be to pinpoint one or two prime cases, and then they will exhume the bodies. Then begins the difficult task of looking for traces of deadly chemicals or signs of suffocation. Those are the methods Saldivar told police he used.
"That's all we need to put a murderer behind bars," Sgt. Young said. "I just need one case to put him behind bars."
Saldivar, believed to be in his late 20s, lives in the Tujunga area with his mother and sister. He attended Verdugo Hills High School, where he was an average student, active in student government and somewhat awkward, a former classmate said Monday.
"He was a nice guy, a little goofy," said William Reinhart, 28. "Goofy is the best word to describe him. He was dopey, but didn't do anyone any harm."
No evidence of an actual crime has been uncovered by investigators, Reinhart noted, adding that he wonders if Saldivar made up the confession to "get attention."
©1998 CBS Worldwide Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report