FBI Investigators Say Aaron Alexis Had 'Legitimate Access' to Navy Yard

Asst. Director in Charge Valerie Parlave adds Alexis may have gained access to gun in facility.
26:14 | 09/17/13

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Transcript for FBI Investigators Say Aaron Alexis Had 'Legitimate Access' to Navy Yard
This is a special report from ABC news. Look what I'm Dan Cutler -- New York with this ABC news digital special report the FBI has interviewed the family and friends. Of -- and Alexis the lone gunmen. In yesterday's mass shooting at the DC navy yard and are now going through. His laptop the FBI and the navy have revealed some information. About licenses. Past life but his motive though remains a mystery. Just few moments the FBI investigator in charge of this shooting. Is holding a news conference in the latest on what they have found. But first I want to go to bring in ABC's Louis Martinez of the Pentagon to discuss this and -- I noticed that a very active investigation by the FBI really taking a lead on this. That's right -- federal agency. As of yesterday evening. When they took over the investigation -- been in DC police that given the circumstances surrounding this tragic event at the Washington navy yard. They became the lead agency giving their resource is. Other national. Resource that can bring to bear something like this which we've seen already in the -- that. Have taken place with colleagues of Alexis in Texas family members and Brooklyn. And as you say the the review of his laptop which -- gathered from his hotel room. And southeast DC big coordinated effort now let's listen in on the latest from the -- It -- -- -- -- national mourning for hours after yesterday's shootings in the Washington -- are. They want and take a moment to provide an -- day and the investigation. I'm joined today by chief Lanier that -- Michael Monroe especially in charge and I'm CI us. US attorney Bryant made ten. -- chambers of the US park place. Carl myself go -- ATF. And chief -- -- -- -- many MS. I would first like to command and thank the agency you see here whether -- today. As well as many others. We continue to actively work together. And the partnership and collaboration among us are vital to the -- sent -- -- investigation. Has briefed last night we believe this time. That and -- -- -- -- -- access act and along. -- -- what no other suspects at large. The investigation has moved into phase. -- a tree curry and information gathering. We have confirmed thirteen mentality is. The shooter. All of whom have not positively identified. Our administration bonds say it should remain in the navy -- to -- continue to process the scenes. I -- last night this is a must not -- and time intensive process. That includes bullet trajectory. Crime -- -- thing. Then when -- -- since -- evidence response personnel from our Baltimore and enrichment -- obsess. We -- remain there for as long as necessary to carefully processed -- shooting site. Married are still laughing here -- spymaster allow access. There -- spent a lot of information circulating in the media over the past day. Once again we caution against obtaining information from -- official sources. And we asked at all and worries creator -- -- to the FBI. At this time we believe that -- -- -- Leonard bell in 19 eSATA and and that may be -- -- shotgun. We did I have any information at this time that -- and a Mayer fifteen and has been action. We also believe mr. -- says may have gain access to a handgun once inside the facility men after he began shooting. As previously imagined master Alexis has legitimate access to the navy yard. There is also those workers are contractor. Honey you realize that ballot passed to gain entry to the -- and we also continue to conduct all other necessary investigation. To learn about the activities and contacts and a master locks us. We continue to conduct an army is exploit digital media center on -- -- we can have pieced together has -- recent -- And determine a motive behind -- attack. We can say is that we have determined master Alexis arrived in the Washington DC area -- -- about August morning fast. -- as say a local motels -- the area since that time. Most recently is now under a state under residents and and southwest Washington and -- say starting on September -- We ask anyone who may have had contact with them during last time our greatest -- -- contact the FBI -- that information. -- is also the public's cooperation thus far we every shave hundreds of tents which we will continue to follow -- The investigation act and that's in this investigative activity as not only taking place here in Washington they say. But on various days across the country -- external access -- -- time. We are greatly -- -- public's cooperation. Natalie again ask anyone who may have knowledge and master locks us -- -- that information to the FBI. -- patient information as to small. We also continue to come forth mother FBI assets towards -- investigation. Our office -- -- -- -- -- -- working together and I'm teenager and the department and advance. To provide a resource does not support -- effect on us next again. We also have personnel from our behavioral analysis -- and assisting in the investigation. -- we try to determine the motivation behind the shootings. We continue to look at semester Alexis has passed including as fanatical and criminal histories. But because that's part of the investigation -- still ongoing. Real and I can comment further on that and this time. Once again I'd like to -- her partner Reagan's -- and all those who have participated in yesterday's response. I'd also like to thank all the American men of -- -- -- in the navy -- Further cooperation and patience during -- long and trying day. And I want to again extend my thanks to the public for their continued support. Please continue Gary for -- in all of the information regarding mr. -- says. By calling 1800. Call FBI. -- as 1300. 225. Five -- to four. Thank you then I'd like to now invite chief -- just a few words. I am very little -- now. I'm from -- our last rating was last night. I will try to answer the question that I've been getting. From that most of the press. First and -- -- officer is doing well I visited visited with him last night. He is in good spirits he is. Pretty uncomfortable he has a very serious injuries that we do expect he'll make a full recovery and he and extended down. Multiple. Times his thanks for the support from the public. And also. His gratitude -- The other -- law enforcement officers who responded to help to. Get him out of the building and get him to safety come after he was not injured sell again that would not out of have been in every case but the working relationship -- -- all of our partners here in the region and the training that we knew was not critical time yesterday. -- does say that we have gone and loves -- further and some -- as bonds and spent several hours this morning. And as proud as I was yesterday and a working relationship the teamwork. And her heroism the police officers -- first responders I'm even more so today. I have seen time. Things that we are trained for a planned for three years coming up plays and nearly flawlessly. Literally two minutes after the ball was -- We -- officers at the gates. Are arriving on the scene. Not within seven minutes. And officers at the building answering. The building two engage in active shooter and shots were actively being fired. We add officers to her relatively. Went into a building. Witnessing multiple casualties. And continued to pursue an engaged in a gunman who was determined. To kill as many people as possible and law enforcement officers were not. Discriminated against then -- isn't as far as this US concerns the officers. The -- we love Ganges the officers that responded. From all the agencies. In an incredible job and there's no doubt in my mind that they -- -- Numerous -- buying -- -- -- -- did so for all the officers -- match com please denies it's hardly is all of our federal partners. Never responded and and worked as multi -- teams none of our teams when and does this thing million agency they all went in multiple agencies and a single team. They did a fantastic job so. I didn't anymore brown -- -- our law enforcement first responders did. Com and also the coordination with the military and with our fire EMS to get -- victims of the -- revenue stream in just a fantastic job. Thank you. Good afternoon. What -- Mike -- especially in charge of the Washington field office of naval criminal must -- service. Personally like to send my condolences to the family members who have fallen. But we are the navy's. -- TV's law enforcement agency. Those that have fallen laurel. -- colleagues there are shipmates. It was sort of prayers the families of those. It's just been engaged with this investigation from immediate response. We had -- special -- one of which is embedded. Or a daily basis of the naval sea systems command only responded multi agency effort to the to build -- after three -- special -- -- but from police officer. They entered the building they engaged a -- girl was done away from police officer was wounded. -- assault fully covered his registration remembered for the building and go to the local care. -- engagement with the threat. Our our push -- of engagement every aspect of the investigation is -- -- -- -- didn't share for. All we're -- police department are collectively -- there are other law enforcement partners. It will be engaged this investigation through its conclusion. But we felt that this is a -- response for a multi agency effort we appreciate the support of all the -- -- involved. -- supported formulated community. -- others affected. Washington navy yard score in the sense that they can. Good afternoon I'm Ron major US attorney for the district of -- Columbia. First and foremost I want to send out -- prayers of the victims of this terrible tragedy. This -- view of her remains an all going to active investigation. Prosecutors from the US attorney's office working hand in hand from yesterday morning -- law enforcement officials. Try to give them all the tools they may need and at our disposal. So they can understand the events that led to yesterday's tragedy. As we have moved from the crisis stage into the investigative stage of this case. Our focus and efforts are going to being on answering the questions that we all have. What calls this individual to kill so many innocent. Men and women. How -- -- carry out and planned this attack how to get access to the weapons. What could have been done to prevent this tragedy. And most importantly whether anyone else aided -- assisted him wittingly or unwittingly. In this tragedy. We're not gonna stop. -- we get answers to those questions that's important not only for this city in this community but most of all for the -- ones who lost. Yesterday. Fully expected this investigation will take weeks and months when run down every league. Explore every detail and try to get to the bottom. -- this terrible event. Finally I just wanna say. -- yesterday which was such a dark moment in our city and our country's history. It was also. Time tremendous dedication courage and hero was. Very proud to stand here today with -- law enforcement partners. Who put aside any thoughts of their own safety. As they rushed to the same to try to save the lives of others it was truly a tremendous effort. I fully expect that coordination that dedication that commitment to continue in the coming days weeks and months ahead. As we work hard to answer -- tough questions that remain. Good afternoon everybody kit -- -- for the Friday MS department in Washington DC. Read -- -- words like tragedy and darkness. I've also heard some very important -- collaboration. Cooperation we're trying to answer one or two questions why. First -- why do we work multi jurisdictional it. Training million this like this yesterday as an example of why we do the training. Also why do we adhere to such strict rules for our members. Throughout our organizations and that's another reason that's another answer why. -- a reason why -- We don't want them to think about the responses we just want to respond when -- come -- everybody here all of our partners. For the work they did this seamless integration of the different police forces. And our Friday -- -- -- Prince George's County. Good to do especially good to resolve this issue. As they busted they're gonna continue their investigation are part for the most part is completed. What we never after -- anything like this again. -- -- -- -- -- -- I know. Miller lost -- -- -- -- a shotgun may never Gagnon. So -- automation and whatever that motivation is us. Currently under investigation and number I'm gonna come on on an endless time when I. I'm really didn't. I can't count on them indefinitely and I don't want to. Now I can't come on -- out on the stump here. I'm the decisions you -- Residents and other businesses in the area to shelter in place it was a decision that we've gone through very carefully. -- we had information that we could not dismiss. So we -- that was the most prudent decision and the time and we aired on the side of caution rather -- being careless and I think it was the right decision that -- our residents then. Everyone -- informed. But we had to run down some. Additional information one -- which we we've cleared very quickly the other -- -- -- little bit longer but I think the decision asking Michelle -- -- was the best decision. The locking down a city is not as it is seems watching television. And is not -- decision that we would take lightly and we felt we had that kind of threat. We may have taken some there's -- -- and I think we do they represent. Would you explain -- from the time you're on the CNN presents an imminent -- holding it. -- -- every millimeter. The question was how long did say the officers actually make entry and how long it -- to actually neutralize the suspect -- from -- time answered. I anti and that two minutes after the -- is -- that we had CNN's that they are fifteens on the scene. We -- I had some additional -- fifteen ideas that have been deployed out in the area. For high visibility over the past two weeks they were very close by they responded immediately. Within about four -- five minutes we had. Five to seven units going through -- -- into the facility. There was different buildings -- Calls coming in giving different buildings so we are getting given building numbers but within seven minutes. We had at least Syriana's and possibly four units outside of the building. Where the shooter was -- -- here. Actually -- of them another round of gunfire and they entered immediately upon hearing gunfire. And and we know at this time. Two of them went in immediately when they ride to the building heard the gunshots and immediately went in the building -- -- giving -- gowns and passing information on. -- actions once they got inside the building that's not. That they put into insuring other teens Megan and that other -- -- quickly the other teams could move around safely was. Unbelievable. I don't have the exact time -- before. -- the filing -- and that will come much later after the all the -- -- of those done but I can tell you there was multiple engagements with the suspect. But multiple different agencies before the final. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Myanmar yeah I wouldn't and. Yes I would say it's more than a half an hour from start to finish. I don't believe it was more than -- more than. -- -- and again we won't know that all of friend is and I did your credit toward his. Contact with the on the I again thank less than anybody every aspect. And he reporting work. No matter how about the weather phenomena -- -- Early recovery in the U. That's the question is about the recovery and the -- have a shot we have. Very good prognosis on the doctors he does have serious injuries -- his -- is. -- again -- any officer and I know his personality I'm. Real confident that you know it will all began about Iowa outrun those of us again in the -- you know -- I'm not gonna comment on any evidence your new -- Now the question is there any -- their friend is the future. We train everyday to try and make -- prevented then we train everyday to make sure that it if it does happen. That no additional harm happens once the incident began that I think we accomplish that goal yesterday it's a horrible tragedy we hope it never happens again. Anywhere much -- in Washington DC. But I think the goal that we have as if it does happen to stop that. Harm as quickly as we possibly can we -- that long. -- -- -- -- -- -- Global security or security -- hardly what the local security and our security posture so we will overcome -- -- -- those. How come so I kicked a little literary thing to our security levels. Yeah yeah. -- -- -- -- -- I know -- not -- -- -- any evidence V eleven news brilliant. Economy. Don't -- I'm and numerous calls from numerous other police -- some. And in every case where we can -- days we -- on it together and review everything in great detail we've done that -- in -- past. Everyone I'm has reached out to me how -- the last 24 -- serious. Thank you. Thanks everybody for your Time Warner and Bob Bennett and appreciate. Lawyer averaging in this story until the -- and psyches. The other piece of documentation that he had is what helped him -- his employment and most most likely. That is called a security clearance he had a secret level security clearance that's the lowest level. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- On the technologies. That are secret in nature and also. And deal with that if flow secret information. That's the lowest level and it lasts for ten years that's -- probably helped him. I get his job with this HP subcontractor that was in ninety work in Washington DC area. Which as you heard he he arrived in the area about honor about August -- -- fifth. Stated various hotels and then the last -- -- was that -- September 8. And that's one of the things that investigators are working as trying to piece together a timeline for where he was moving and what he was doing. In that time up until yesterday. One of the areas that the investigators wouldn't answer reporters' questions on was regarding the weapons although they did make some statements about that. In the FBI saying if fact that they have no information to lead them to believe that he had -- -- assault weapon. There had been rumors in fact that that he may have been found with that but. That's Frankie you heard the director -- say you are the -- be careful of some of the reporting you're seeing out there. In the media. -- -- it may be inaccurate. What she was -- urging caution was on the report that an -- fifteen which is an assault rifle. Was found on his person the thinking had and that this was -- -- some -- -- -- -- he had obtained. During the shoot out but -- hearing pretty clearly from -- senior FBI officials that it. May not had anything to do with his age and what did we hear that from this news conference about the weapon that he did enter the navy yard where. Is she confirmed what we have reported already which is that -- sometime in the last week he purchased a shotgun. Legally from any -- a -- gun store here in suburban Virginia area. Lorton Virginia -- about twenty miles south of DC. And we've made contact with that -- -- an -- -- comments by saying that for proper procedures were followed by. Again this is part of the trail they have to you figure out where he came up with his weapons we heard the about the purchase and we also heard that. The handgun that he had had been taken from the person of one of the police officers that he had engaged with. In a gun battle inside that building two questions that they would not feel from the reporters there on the scene has -- a motive in two. The psychological background of Alexis. Yet -- to very tricky issues obviously. They're gonna have to reiterate that since he's not around to tell us why what motivated him to do this so they're gonna have to build a trailer either through technology looking at -- -- I'm talking to his colleagues either at his place of employment or friends and family. I'm so far we -- Nolan seems to have found anything that indicates what may have triggered this the other thing. Is obviously questions about his mental state. Whether he has had some kind of erratic behavior. There have been reports all day that he had sought some kind. Counseling. Through the VA we still been on the unable to fully confirm that. We also. Part of this hesitancy. In talking about that he's basically. Privacy concerns about -- records. And you know investigators themselves -- trying to ascertain what is truth and what is fiction here. All right and and -- Other area before we let you go it was a fact of the security. Actually on the navy yard itself in fact represented from the naval criminal investigation security. Didn't want it didn't want to make any kind of comment as far as uses could check this could something have been done should something have been done and will there be any changes in the future. To -- that the security has had on the facility. That's exactly right -- -- -- tip its hand that we we do you know what some of those procedures are regarding the checkpoint. The swiping access once again the building where there are police officers on hand -- what we do know is that the navy secretary. -- going to order some reviews of security it -- -- facilities worldwide. One has any quick look taking a look at exactly. What might need to be upgraded and in a longer term look. -- -- says these facilities and we're also just getting new information in as well from a senior pentagon official that this review was going to be wrapped -- Defense Secretary K -- We'll sometime tomorrow announce that. He's ordering a review of security yet all DOD facilities around the world looking to see what might need to be upgraded golf course in the wake of this tragic series. It's -- ABC's Linda Martinez the Pentagon is certainly heartbreaking story in the investigation continues -- the -- -- appreciate. The tireless reporting for us we do have a complete report on the latest on the investigation on abcnews.com. For now I'm -- Cutler in New York with this ABC news digital special report. This has been a special report from me.

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

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