Gunman: Radio waves made me kill
Washington Navy Yard gunman Aaron Alexis left a note saying he was driven to kill by months of bombardment with extremely low-frequency radio waves, the FBI said.
The disclosure explains the phrase he etched on his shotgun: "My ELF Weapon!"
Alexis did not target particular individuals during the September 16 attack in which he killed 12 people, and there is no indication the shooting stemmed from any workplace dispute, said Valerie Parlave, assistant director of the FBI's Washington field office.
Instead, authorities said, his behaviour in the weeks before the shooting and records later recovered from his hotel room reveal a man increasingly in the throes of paranoia and delusions.
"Ultra-low frequency attack is what I've been subject to for the last 3 months, and to be perfectly honest that is what has driven me to this," an electronic document agents recovered after the shooting said.
The attack came one month after Alexis had complained to police in Rhode Island that people were talking to him through the walls and ceilings of his hotel room and sending microwave vibrations into his body to deprive him of sleep.
On his shotgun, he had scrawled "My ELF Weapon!" - an apparent reference to extremely low-frequency waves - along with "End to the Torment!" ''Not what yall say" and "Better off this way," the FBI said.
Alexis, 34, a former navy reservist and computer technician for a government contractor, used a valid badge to get into the Navy Yard and opened fire inside a building with the sawn-off Remington shotgun, which he had purchased legally in Virginia two days earlier. He also used a 9mm handgun that he took from a security guard.
He was killed in the building by a US Park Police officer following a rampage the FBI said lasted more than an hour - longer than authorities previously indicated.
"There are indicators that Alexis was prepared to die during the attack and that he accepted death as the inevitable consequence of his actions," Ms Parlave said.
Surveillance video released by the FBI on Wednesday shows Alexis pulling his rental car into a garage, walking into the building with a bag and then skulking down a corridor with a shotgun, ducking and crouching around a corner and walking briskly down a flight of stairs.
A timeline issued by the FBI shows Alexis started the rampage on the building's fourth floor and then moved down to the third and first floors. He ultimately returned to the third floor, where he was killed at around 9.25am. FBI director James Comey has said there is no evidence that Alexis shot down into the atrium despite earlier accounts from witnesses at the scene.
Alexis had started a job as a contractor in the building just a week before the attack.
Although there was a "routine performance-related issue addressed to him" on the Friday before the Monday morning shooting, "there is no indication that this caused any sort of reaction from him", Ms Parlave said.
"We have not determined there to be any previous relationship between Alexis and any of the victims. There is no evidence or information at this point that indicates he targeted anyone he worked for or worked with. We do not see any one event as triggering this attack."
Defence officials have acknowledged that a lot of red flags were missed in Alexis' background, allowing him to maintain a secret-level security clearance and access to a navy installation despite a string of behavioural problems and brushes with the law.
He worked for The Experts, a Florida-based computer firm that was a Hewlett-Packard sub-contractor. Hewlett-Packard said it was severing ties with The Experts, accusing the company of failing to respond adequately to Alexis' mental problems.
At the Pentagon, deputy defence secretary Ash Carter said the department would review base safety procedures and the security clearance process.
"Bottom line is, we need to know how an employee was able to bring a weapon and ammunition onto a DoD installation, and how warning flags were either missed, ignored or not addressed in a timely manner," he said.
Navy secretary Ray Mabus has recommended that the department require that all police reports - not just arrests or convictions - be included in background checks.