Expect to see armored vehicles, guns drawn, divers in water as manhunt for Maine mass shooting suspect continues

Residents in Lewiston, Maine were told to expect to continue to see several high-profile searches for mass shooting suspect Robert Card, which could include armored vehicles, authorities with guns being drawn, and divers searching the river.

The Army reservist is accused of fatally shooting 18 people and wounding 13 at a bowling alley and a bar in Maine.

Authorities in Maine say the river search is at a location where Robert Card’s vehicle was found — along with the ground search which spans miles of heavily wooded area.

Former JSO Chief of Investigations, Tom Hackney, said this search is unique.

“There’s just a level of complication that comes with it,” Hackney said.

Not only do search crews have to be prepared for a possible gun battle at any moment with the wanted suspect Card, but they’ve also got miles of ground to cover and an entire river to search.

Maine authorities released Friday the digital maps of the three key areas of their investigation: the bowling alley, the bar, and the river dock area where Card’s SUV was found.

Hackney knows about complicated searches.

He lead the more than 150-day search for 1-year-old Lonzie Barton in Jacksonville in 2015. The search for evidence of a child’s body spanned dozens of square miles of land, and 61 retention ponds.

Hackney says the search for Card in Maine is complex, as authorities try to put together the pieces of the puzzle.

“This is a guy who put a lot of planning into the act he took, that adds another layer too, into looking back into his history to see who he was involved with, what did this plan entail? Is this whole thing with the river, just a rouse? Has he set this up as an ability to turn investigators’ heads? To get away? There’s a lot of questions,” Hackney said.

Investigators in Maine say they’ve also recovered a letter Card left behind addressed to his son, hinting Friday that it may contain information about a possible motive. They also recovered his cell phone, which Hackney says should give them new insight.

“Nowadays, there’s just a world of opportunity on electronic devices — cell phones, GPS tracking, the whole thing. People think there’s an ability to remove evidence from them, but in many cases, it’s a treasure trove of information, and in this case in Maine, again you don’t know what planning went into this, but it gives investigators a peek into the history of what he may or may not have done to put this together,” Hackney said.

Investigators also announced they found an AR-15 rifle similar to the description and caliber of the gun used in the attack.

Forensic tests are being conducted to match the bullets and shell casings to the two shooting scenes.

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