LEWISTON, MAINE (WHDH) – Investigators are gathering more information about the 40-year-old man accused in connection with Wednesday’s deadly mass shootings in Lewiston, Maine.
Robert Card, 40, remained on the run Friday more than a day after investigators said he allegedly opened fire at a bowling alley and at a restaurant, killing 18 people.
Speaking to CNN, law enforcement officials said a working theory on a possible motive behind the massacre now suggests Card may have targeted the two locations because he thought his ex-girlfriend might be there. The pair recently broke up. While they were together, they reportedly frequented the bowling alley and the restaurant.
Law enforcement officials also said there appeared to be some planning done before Wednesday’s attack, adding Card’s skills as an outdoorsman combined with his military history have made the current search more challenging and dangerous.
Authorities identified Card first as a person of interest and later as a suspect.
As the massive manhunt for Card continued Thursday, the scene was tense in Bowdoin, Maine where Card’s family has lived for generations.
Asked if he was worried about his safety, Richard Goddard responded: “Absolutely.”
“I don’t know why he took it out on the people he took it out on and I don’t know what’s stopping him from taking it out on whoever else he’s going to take it out on,” Goddard said.
Card’s military record shows he spent the past 21 years in the Army Reserves, serving as a sergeant who was a petroleum supply specialist. Among his accomplishments, he was awarded a humanitarian service medal.
The Associated Press reports superiors called in state police in July after they became concerned about Card’s behavior while training at West Point in New York. The AP said troopers brought Card to a military hospital for a mental health evaluation.
Authorities searched several locations in Bowdoin on Thursday.
On Friday morning, law enforcement activity was ramping up near a boat ramp in neighboring Lisbon where authorities said Card’s car was found after the shootings.
Maine Public Safety Commissioner Michael Sauschuck in a briefing said crews would be searching on land and in the water using divers, aerial assets and SONAR equipment in the area.
Sauschuck said authorities would also be following up on additional leads and continuing efforts to process the crime scenes at the actual shooting locations.
Sauschuck said law enforcement will continue its 24/7 search for Card and promised to continue to provide regular updates about the status of the investigation.
‘He’s in his own backyard,’ former FBI senior official says
Former FBI Senior Official Katherine Schweit told CNN “a very, very small number of these types of shooters, these active shooters, go on the lam.”
“He’s in his own backyard and we’re coming into his backyard to try to find him in a game of hide and seek,” Schweit said. “He knows what he’s looking for and where he’s going to and he has a plan and law enforcement has to follow those trails wherever they can find him.”
Law enforcement sources overnight Thursday into Friday said a gun was found in Card’s car, which was abandoned at a boat ramp in Lisbon.
Investigators said they also recovered Card’s cell phone and a note as part of their investigation. It was not immediately clear where authorities recovered such items.
Among search efforts Friday morning, the Coast Guard was searching for a missing boat belonging to Card.
Roadblocks and a shelter-in-place advisory remained in place in and around Lewiston, with a heavy law enforcement presence lingering throughout the region.
The shelter-in-place status was later rescinded.
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