The main suspect in the murder of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe is believed to have fled to America.
The man in his 20s is described by a garda source as being "of immense interest to us," and was due to appear in court on an unrelated matter. It's understood investigators believe the suspect entered the US illegally and that his location is known to them.
When he failed to appear, the judge in the case issued a bench warrant for his arrest. The man's no-show in court comes almost four months to the day that the highly respected detective was murdered while on duty outside the Lordship Credit Union near Dundalk, Co Louth on January 25.
The 41-year-old father-of-two was shot in the head in cold blood as he approached a five-member gang on the grounds of the credit union in the village of Jenkinstown during a robbery.
An 08-D registered Volkswagen Passat - which was identified as being stolen from Clogherhead, Co Louth three days before the armed raid and is believed to be the getaway car - was found burnt out near a forest in south Co Armagh, across the border.
A gang of five aged between 18 and their early 20s who hail from both sides of the Border are the main suspects.
Two men have already been questioned about the car theft but no charges have been laid.
While gardai have seized a laptop computer and mobile phones following a raid on a house near the border, Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan issued a fresh appeal earlier this month for any information that would assist gardai in bringing the culprits to justice.
The mobile phones were analysed and its believed that a number of calls were made on them on the night of the murder.
However its understood that there is still not enough evidence to extradite the suspected gang members to the Republic for questioning. Commissioner Callinan said gardai have obtained close to 400 statements and hundreds of CCTV footage of the crime scene on the night of murder.
More than a thousand lines of inquiry have also been pursued. But the commissioner warned that progress in the case has - and will continue to be "slow and steady."
"The investigation is being very, very carefully worked through, it's very painstaking," he said at the press conference held at the Dundalk Garda station on April 9.