Facebook Twitter

Shooter’s motive may never be known, investigators say

SHARE Shooter’s motive may never be known, investigators say

Mystery continues to swirl around Sulejman Talovic and why the 18-year-old would go on a homicidal rampage through the Trolley Square mall, killing five and injuring four before dying in a shootout with police.

"The detectives have taken things out of the house, out of the car. They've been talking to several people," Salt Lake City police detective Robin Snyder said. "They have nothing new on the motive."

On Wednesday, Salt Lake City police insisted that once the case is closed, they will release all of their findings.

"When the investigation is done they will release everything they've discovered," said detective Jeff Bedard.

Salt Lake City police will not set a date for the investigation to wrap up, and officers concede that a motive may never be known.

"It's a possibility that we may never know. Unfortunately, he may have taken that with him," Snyder said.

Police said that contrary to the statements of congressman Chris Cannon, R-Utah, investigators have found nothing that indicates Talovic's Muslim religion played any role in the shooting rampage.

"We have nothing to indicate his religion had anything to do with it," Snyder said. "Nothing leads us back or has been linked to his religion." (See Cannon takes back ‘Allah’ quote.)

Salt Lake City police and agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives continue to trace the guns that Talovic acquired. The 12-gauge shotgun was purchased legally by the young man. The ATF said it is still tracing the origins of the .38-caliber handgun.

The FBI said it continues to help investigate the tragedy.

"We're still working with police," FBI Special Agent Patrick Kiernan said Wednesday. "We're still trying to figure out why he did what he did."

At the Trolley Square mall, a sense of normalcy is returning to the brick and cobblestone buildings.

Cathy Bramwell paused for a moment outside Cabin Fever, wondering if she should go in. Then, she marched in and gave shop employee Doug Player a hug.

"I just want to make sure you're OK," she said.

The epicenter of Talovic's shooting rampage reopened for business on Wednesday, more than a week after the killing spree.

"I hope they take away a feeling of peace, a feeling of gratitude for their lives and definitely a feeling of love for everyone that is special to them," said David Dean, one of the owners of Cabin Fever.

Only a painted white piece of plywood remains to give any indication of what happened here. It covers a gap where a glass pane is missing.

It was in this novelty and card shop that Teresa Ellis, 29; Brad Frantz, 24; and Kirsten Hinckley, 15, were killed. Carolyn Tuft, 44, was wounded and is reported to be in fair condition.

"This is something you will never forget," Dean said.

Bramwell purchased a thank-you card and a birthday card to show her support for the business.

"I didn't really need cards, but I came and got them anyway," she said. "I wanted to support the guys at Cabin Fever."

As customers left the shop, each was given a small candle as a symbol of hope and reverence.

"The candles represent life," Player said. "It's just a symbol of our thanks for supporting us and also to respect what happened here."

Memorial flowers marking the tragedy are scattered around the mall. Outside Pottery Barn Kids, where Talovic was gunned down by police, a vase contained a card that read: "Our thoughts & prayers are with you & your families. The Pottery Barn Kids team."

Pottery Barn Kids remains under repair. It will reopen on Friday.

E-mail: bwinslow@desnews.com