According to CNN, law enforcement officials have proof gunman Omar Mateen first came to Pulse late on Saturday, June 11 before leaving for hours and then returning armed and prepared to attack. Investigators are trying to piece together what he did in that time.
Mateen paid the entry fee the first time he entered, obtained a wristband, and went into the club as anyone would, officials said, as it was caught on surveillance footage and confirmed by cell phone tracking. They believe he may have been scouting out Pulse's security measures immediately before the attack, though he'd reportedly been to Pulse (among other very crowded Orlando locations) several times recently to scout it.
Mateen's wife Noor Salman told investigators she last saw her husband when he left their home the night before the attack "angry" and with a bag full of guns, CNN also reports. She also said she tried to call and text him several times during the shooting. These answers were given before Salman had an attorney, which she's since obtained since the initial questioning.
As the FBI continues to try and piece the night together, first responders are coming forward to recount what that night was like for them. According to the Washington Post, Officer Brandon Cornwell's account, which he gave Tuesday, is the first official one by a police officer who was inside Pulse during the "critical moments of the shooting."
Cornwell never saw Mateen, but after "trying to locate exactly where the shooter was—we kept hearing people scream and shots fired," he was stationed outside the bathroom where Mateen held and killed hostages. He was told to await the SWAT team to take any action, as they were properly suited for the situation and he was merely in his police uniform.
In a press conference, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced she was providing $1 million in assistance to Orlando first responders in addition to federal emergency funds to "cover family travel expenses, medical and mental health expenses and other costs related to the tragedy." A GoFundMe for the victims, survivors, and their families has raised more than $5.8 million since the attack. You can donate to the fund here.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.