REDLANDS, Calif. — Fourteen people were killed and 22 others were injured in a shooting rampage during a holiday party in San Bernardino one year ago Friday, but many questions remain unanswered.
Despite extensive efforts, investigators still don't know exactly why a Redlands couple — Syed Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 27 — committed the attack at the Inland Regional Center on Dec. 2. Authorities believe they were radicalized by the terrorist organization Islamic State, but little information on their motive has been unearthed.
"There are many theories as to why that location was chosen," FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said. "We may not ultimately ever know why, whether it was opportunistic, whether they specifically targeted that location, whether they even had a secondary location based on the amount of weaponry they had."
Farook and Malik wore dark military-style clothing and carried assault rifles, handguns and 1,600 rounds of ammunition. They also had a bag containing an explosive that they left behind that never detonated.
Law enforcement officials searched their Redlands home and found more than 6,000 rounds of ammunition. The couple also left behind a 6-month-old baby that is still being “passed around from foster home to foster home,” with Farook’s sister trying to get custody of her, FBI Supervisory Agent Sid Patel from the Los Angeles office, which has led the investigation, said during a talk in Rancho Mirage earlier this week.
The pair never left the area and authorities say it's possible there were plans to return to the facility and activate the explosive. Farook and Malik followed an L-shaped route and passed Seccombe Lake, which was later searched for clues but ultimately wielded no results.
Otherwise, nothing is known about their activities between the time of the killing and the shootout between police that left them both dead.
"We don't know if they ever met with anyone," Eimiller said. "We believe there's evidence we don't have."
The FBI last held a press conference in January to appeal to the public for help. Authorities haven't arrested anyone directly linked to the shooting and it remains under investigation.
Riverside resident Enrique Marquez Jr. was arrested on suspicion of acquiring the weapons used in the attack and conspiring with Farook in 2011 and 2012 to support other terrorists. He's scheduled to appear in federal court next year.
Working with a third party, the FBI extracted unspecified information from Farook's iPhone after ordering Apple to produce software that helps bypass a security feature that locks the phone after 10 incorrect attempts to guess its password. The effort was controversial, as tech companies argued they needed to protect customers' privacy.
Evidence shows Farook had radicalized over several years, at least as far back as 2007. He met Malik, a Pakistani with a pharmacology degree, through a radicalized online chat room where each stated they were looking for someone who shared their anti-America sentiment, officials said.
If necessary, Eimiller said investigators will look beyond 2007 if there's evidence that will help them solve the case.
"We would like to know everything we can about their background, who they associated with, whether anyone provided any kind of support for them leading up to this murder," Eimiller said.