(NEWTOWN, Conn.) — Police indicated on Saturday they have “some very good evidence” about the motive behind Adam Lanza’s massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School and said that the sole person to survive being shot by Lanza will be “instrumental” in the probe.
Authorities also finished the grim task of identifying all of Lanza’s 27 victims, which included 20 children. Families, who already feared the worst, were informed that their loved ones were dead early on Saturday.
All of the bodies have now been removed from the school and medical examiners are expected to provide a full list of victims later on Saturday.
With the tally of Lanza’s carnage complete, authorities and the grieving people of Newtown, Conn., are left to wonder why he turned the elementary school in this quaint New England town into a slaughter house.
Connecticut State Police Lt. Paul Vance, who had compared the investigation to “peeling back the layers of an onion,” said the investigation “did produce some very good evidence” about motive, but he would not go into further detail.
He indicated the evidence came from the shooting scene at the school as well as at the home where Lanza’s mother, Nancy, was slain.
Also key will be the lone person shot by Lanza who wasn’t killed. The female teacher has not been publicly identified.
“She is doing fine,” Vance said at a news conference on Saturday. “She has been treated and she’ll be instrumental in this investigation.”
Evidence also emerged on Saturday that Lanza’s rampage began in the office of school principal Dawn Hochsprung while the school intercom was on. It’s not clear whether it was turned on to alert the school or whether it was on for morning announcements, but the principal’s screams and the cries of children heard throughout the school gave teachers time to take precautions to protect their children.
Hochsprung was among those killed in the Friday morning killing spree.
Authorities have fanned out to New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts to interview Lanza’s relatives, ABC News has learned.
According to sources, Lanza shot his mother in the face, then left his house armed with at least two semi-automatic handguns, a Glock and a Sig Sauer, and a semi-automatic rifle. He was also wearing a bulletproof vest.
Newtown Police Hunt for Motive in School Massacre
Lanza then drove to the elementary school and continued his rampage, authorities said.
Lanza died from what was believed to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The rifle was found in his car.
“Evil visited this community today,” Gov. Dan Malloy said at a news conference Friday evening.
This is the second worst mass shooting in U.S. history, exceeded only by the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007 when 32 were killed before the shooter turned the gun on himself. The carnage in Connecticut exceeded the 1999 Columbine High School shooting in which 13 died and 24 were injured.
Friday’s shooting came three days after masked gunman Jacob Roberts opened fire in a busy Oregon mall, killing two before turning the gun on himself.
The Connecticut shooting occurred at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, which includes 450 students in grades K-4. The town is located about 12 miles east of Danbury, Conn.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Doug Criss, CNN
Megan Shauri, FamilyShare