Possible motive revealed in Jussie Smollett alleged attack: Source

Two brothers had told police the actor was upset that a threatening letter did not get enough attention, a law enforcement source told ABC News.
2:40 | 02/19/19

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Transcript for Possible motive revealed in Jussie Smollett alleged attack: Source
here to the new headline late today in the case involving actor jussie smollett. We have reported here police have questioned the two men in the surveillance image. Well, tonight, those two brothers now claim that smollett paid them to orchestrate the homophobic and racist attack. And this evening, a law enforcement official telling ABC news that the brothers have also now suggested a possible motive. ABC's Eva pilgrim is in Chicago. Reporter: Tonight, a stunning claim about a possible motive from the two men who told police jussie smollett hired them to stage a hate crime. A law enforcement source tells is ABC news the brothers told police the actor was upset a letter sent to the studio that produces the show "Empire" did not get enough attention. And so, they say he staged the attack a week later. And you did mention it to the police right away? Absolutely. About the letter? Absolutely. Just because, on the letter, it had a stick figure hanging from a tree with a gun pointing towards it, with the words that said, "Smollett, jussie, you will die, black ." And the return address, there was no address, but the return address said in big, red, you know, like caps, "Maga." Did I make that up, too? Reporter: Detectives are actively investigating the brothers' allegation, but have not confirmed it to be true. Tonight, the two men who were identified from this grainy surveillance video breaking their silence, telling Chicago's WBBM, "We are not racist, we are not homophobic, and we are not anti-Trump. We were born and raised in Chicago and are American citizens." Police seizing the two's computers and cell phones from their home. But smollett not turning over his phone to police. They wanted me to give my phone to the tech for three to four hours. I'm sorry, but I'm not going to do that. Why? Because I have private pictures and videos and numbers. My partner's number, my family's number. Reporter: Police now urgently want to talk to smollett. His lawyers say he is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with. He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that jussie played a role in his own attack. If he wasn't being entirely truthful, he needlessly put himself at risk because he gave a lot of detail. Eva's with us from Chicago tonight. And Eva, are police any closer to reinterviewing jussie smollett? Reporter: Well, smollett did not speak with police today, David. His attorney saying that his team is in communication with authorities. Police hopeful they will speak with him in the next few days. David? Eva pilgrim from Chicago tonight. Thank you, Eva. We're going to move on now

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

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