New court documents filed Monday in the investigation into last week's deadly shootings at Virginia Tech revealed that the Virginia state police are examining a wealth of information of university e-mail records from both alleged shooter Seung-Hui Cho and his first victim, freshman Emily Hilscher.
Officials said Cho shot Emily Hilscher in her residence hall early on the morning of April 16. Investigators are now trying to determine whether Cho contacted Hilscher before the shooting and whether that contact might explain why he targeted Hilscher in the first place. The evidence might also point to a relationship, if any, between Cho and the other victims of last week's attack.
One of the documents submitted by investigators notes that "in 80 to 85 percent of homicide cases, the victim is known by the offender."
Previously released records indicate that Cho had contacted other female students in the fall of 2005, resulting in at least two of those women calling the police to complain about Cho. Following those complaints, Cho underwent a mental health evaluation and was determined to be "mentally ill and in need of hospitalization," presenting "an imminent danger to self or others as result of mental illness, or is so seriously mentally ill as to be substantially unable to care for self, and is incapable of volunteering or unwilling to volunteer for treatment."
Armed with new information, the Virginia state police could determine whether or not Cho was contacting Hilscher, and if so, what role that contact might have played in the shootings.
The new documents obtained by ABC News Monday list the items seized under a search warrant issued last week, including five CDs containing information about e-mail accounts SC2@vt.edu and firstname.lastname@example.org, used by Cho and Hilscher, respectively.
According to the documents, Virginia Tech's computer system also supports a tool called File Box, used by students and faculty to post web content such as writing, videos and pictures. One of the five CDs holds informaton about Cho's File Box contents.
Investigators also carried out a warrant issued Friday for Cho's cell phone records. An attachment to the filing reads, "Seung-Hui Cho is known to have communicated by cellular telephone and may have communicated with others concerning his plans to carry out attacks on students and faculty at Virginia Tech." The document also states that according to interviews with Cho's family, he "often used a cellular telephone to communicate" and "he normally spoke to his parents on Sunday evenings."
The documents obtained Monday do not show that any telephone, text message or e-mail communication between Cho and any of his victims took place, but investigators are reviewing electronic records to see if any such connection exists.
A Virginia state police spokesperson told ABC News that connections between Cho and his victims have not been established at this stage of the investigation, but "the investigators are still actively processing and analyzing the evidence collected during the past week."
Cho shot 32 students and teachers on the university's campus before turning the gun on himself. The rampage is the deadliest campus shooting in U.S. history.