If it has started to seem unlikely that we would ever find out the motivation behind Stephen Paddock’s decision to meticulously prepare for the deadliest mass shooting in American history, it’s become clear that the answers didn’t lie in his valium addiction or his tendency to bet big at video poker, reportedly for 14 hours a day, 365 days a year.
His live-in girlfriend, Marilou Danley, hasn’t provided much in the way of explanation, either, although Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo says he has a hard time believing that Danley wasn’t at least marginally aware of either Paddock’s plans or his capacity to carry out such a heinous act.
But maybe the biggest plot twist yet could shed some light on Paddock’s motives: It turns out the compulsive gambler had lost a significant chunk of money beginning in September of 2015 and was depressed. He was only recently relieved by the election of Donald Trump, whose politics he was a big fan of because of the rising stock market since Trump’s election. Indeed, stocks have climbed every month since the inauguration of our 45th president, which is fitting for a man who cares only about the tiny fraction of the country that actually owns stocks and makes money from investments in the market.
All of this is according to a videotaped interview with Sheriff Lombardo, which he sat down for with KLAS-8’s George Knapp.
But being fond of Donald Trump still doesn’t explain why he chose the location, date, or really any of the details of his attack. According to the Sheriff, Paddock brought the giant cache of weapons police found in his hotel room up to the 32nd floor over the course of days, so as not to arouse suspicion. He said that Paddock had planned everything down to the smallest detail, including studying police responses in order to gauge how long reaction time might be.
But if Paddock’s motivations had anything to do with Trump himself, it’s likely we’ll never find out what it was, because we’ll never know when Paddock began to plan his attack.
There are literally a million things that have transpired since Trump’s election that could push an otherwise normal, if a little eccentric, person right over the edge.
Featured image via Drew Angerer/Getty Images