Attorney General Merrick Garland would not pledge Tuesday to launch a hate crime probe into the Monday mass shooting at a Nashville, Tennessee, Christian school.
Transgender shooter Audrey Hale, 28, killed three children and three adults at Covenant School before being killed by police, and the Nashville Metro Police Department reported discovering “writings” at Hale’s home that suggest a “calculated and planned” attack. Republican Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy said at a Tuesday Senate Appropriations Committee hearing that Hale “could have had collaborators,” asking Garland whether he planned on opening a hate crime investigation in the case for the targeting of Christians.
“As of now motive hasn’t been identified,” Garland said, reporting that the FBI and ATF were both on the scene working with local police. “We are certainly working full-time with them to try to determine what the motive is, and of course motive is what determines if it is a hate crime or not.”
A Nashville Metro Police Department police spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation Tuesday they would not be releasing the manifesto while an investigation was open. Republican Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley called the shooting a hate crime “that according to Nashville police, specifically targeted… the members of this Christian community, community, the members of this religious institution, its students, its educators, [and] its employees.”
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