Sign up for The Brief, The Texas Tribune’s daily newsletter that keeps readers up to speed on the most essential Texas news.
The Allen mall gunman who killed eight people had neo-Nazi beliefs and brought eight weapons — all legally obtained — with him to the outdoor shopping center, law enforcement officials said at a Tuesday news conference.
The majority of the victims were people of color, and half were of Asian descent. But authorities stopped short of saying that the shooting was racially motivated and said that they are still trying to determine what motivated the attack.
“The big question that we’re dealing with right now is what’s his motive. Why did he do this? … We don’t know,” said Hank Sibley, the North Texas regional director for the Texas Department of Public Safety. “That’s what the investigation is trying to find out.”
The gunman had patches and tattoos indicating his neo-Nazi beliefs, Sibley said. Mauricio Garcia, 33, was wearing a patch that said “RWDS” — an acronym for “right wing death squad” at the time of the shooting.
“We are trying to get into his computer and on social media and find out whether he had anything that he publicized,” Sibley said.
A Washington Post report identified a social media account in which the gunman had posted about his fantasies of race wars and used violent, hateful rhetoric that targeted Asian people with slurs.
The shooter had no criminal history and had previously worked as a security guard, though authorities didn’t say where. The FBI is analyzing the shooter’s digital devices, Chad Yarbrough, an FBI special agent, said Tuesday.
Tickets are on sale now for the 2023 Texas Tribune Festival, happening in downtown Austin on Sept. 21-23. Get your TribFest tickets by May 31 and save big!