FBI Knoxville
Public Affairs Specialist Joyce McCants
(865) 544-0751
July 17, 2015

FBI Special Agent in Charge Reinhold Press Conference Remarks on Chattanooga Shooting Investigation

Good Afternoon,

First, on behalf of the FBI and all of our law enforcement partners, I want to extend our deepest sympathies to the families of those who lost their loved ones in yesterday’s horrific shootings. It is difficult to find the words to express just how sorry we are for you loss.

Now, I would like to provide you with an update since our last press conference late yesterday evening:

This matter is being investigated as an act of terrorism by the FBI Knoxville’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, along with the Chattanooga Police Department and our other federal, state, and local partners. Because the investigation is still in its early stages, it would be premature to speculate on exactly why the shooter did what he did. However, we are conducting a thorough investigation to determine whether this person acted alone, was inspired or directed, and will exhaust all efforts in determining how and why this horrible act happened.

Because this is an ongoing investigation, we are somewhat limited in what we can discuss, but I can tell you that as I speak to right now, personnel from FBI, ATF, HSI agents, troopers from the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Chattanooga police officers, and Hamilton county sheriff’s deputies are covering leads that are coming in to our command center.

Some of those agents are part of our Evidence Response Teams, who are highly trained in crime scene processing. They continue to meticulously document evidence located at the crime scenes. Teams from Knoxville, Memphis, and Atlanta, along with trajectory experts from the FBI Laboratory, are working both scenes.

FBI agents are partnering with state and locals to run down every lead that we have received. So far, we’ve covered approximately 70 leads. As our team continues to develop additional information, you may see or hear about FBI activity in other areas of the state.

Victim witness specialists from the United States Attorney’s office and the FBI are assisting the families of the victims.

If you have any information about the alleged shooter Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez and we haven’t spoken to you, please call 865-602-7582. No information is too small or insignificant.