El Paso mass shooting treated as domestic terror case

The gunman, who traveled more than 600 miles to El Paso, Texas, allegedly had the goal of targeting the Mexican community.
3:59 | 08/05/19

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Transcript for El Paso mass shooting treated as domestic terror case
I want to bring in pier here Thomas in our DC bureau. Pierre we know that this guy in El Paso he drove some 600 miles to attack the Mexican community. And you you you informed us that the FBI has been tracking active shooter and the numbers are disturbing yes. Say they absolutely are. We're seeing a surge the FBI says in a number of hate crimes that they're seeing reported. Are so we're seeing a significant spike. And what is defined as active shooter instance those are situations in which a armed gunman shows up at a public place mall. School church and tries to kill people when the FBI first began tracking this for tick particular phenomenon. We were averaging about six of these business for years a country. That was an early 2000. By 2017. It was thirty. Incidents a year thirty. So that's really striking and as you said if you couple that with a number of mass shootings. Which the gun violence archive is is recording. We have a epidemic. It's an as were people are showing up often with a soft style rifles and killing people. And Pierre what do you think is the most concerning part I know you'd mentioned you know when that a person sees another. Shooter do this then they can potentially copycat or they want to emulate the situation. That's right the FBI. And I was surprised at how quickly they put this out. But over the weekend they put out a statement as saying based on what happened in El Paso and based on what happened in Dayton Ohio. That they are concerned that other extremists other people who were unbalanced might take acts of decks domestic terror. Or there might be copycat so that's a real ongoing concern so right now you have law enforcement. Asking for the public's help that if you see something. Here's something even if it involves a family member or a friend you've got to contact local law enforcement so they think in some cases get your. You're. Associate or friend or loved one help or in some cases take action to keep them from doing an act of our. Its end and what are the warning signs that people should be looking for. Who wanted to warning signs is that often they found that these people are posting. Really violent rhetoric on line in the case of the Nazi killer. In them Charlottesville who ran a word. That woman and killed her and tried to run over the crowd. He had. Posted. On social media a photograph. Basically indicating. That running over people when a vehicle was a good thing. He would also a known Nazi has spoken openly of his. Support and affinity for. Adolf Hitler. So what you see is that opted. Either people who are hate mongers or who have. Various issues they say something that indicates that they're going to take action and are often people simply don't take them serious enough to. Reports. And here before we go you know what happened this week in its its domestic terrorism what do you think accounts. For the rise in these cases these incidents. Well it's a combination. Of many things but one of the things law enforcement is. Particularly concerned about is just in the way we saw ices. Use social media to communicate with people that aren't necessarily even a part officially of their group. White supremacists are now. Posting things on line and encouraging other people were like minded to take action and again you don't even have to be a formal member of the group. It's just that this hate is rating. Through social media almost like a virus. Right here Thomas right NRDC bureau thank you so much for joining us today.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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