Stephen Paddock's brain will be examined at the Stanford University Medical Center in hopes it will lead to clues as to why the gunman opened fire on concert goers in Las Vegas on Oct. 1, killing 58 and wounding another 500, The New York Times reported Thursday.
The Clark County coroner in Nevada announced earlier that an autopsy had been completed on Paddock and that brain tissue would be sent to Stanford to see if a brain disorder could be detected, the newspaper said.
Authorities said that Paddock rained gunfire on concert goers at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in what some are calling the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history, the Las Vegas Review-Journal noted.
Paddock eventually killed himself after firing on thousands of festival attendees from a corner suite at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip, the Review-Journal said. Law enforcement's attempts to find a clear motive for the shooting have come up empty.
"The magnitude of this tragedy has so many people wondering how it could have evolved," Dr. Hannes Vogel, director of neuropathology at Stanford University Medical Center, told The New York Times.
Vogel told the Times, though, that the chances of finding answers in the brain tissue to the mystery of Mr. Paddock's act are slim. He and colleagues will create paper-thin slices of Paddock's brain and search for potential abnormalities of individual cells, the newspaper said.
Vogel told the Times that he was briefed on the tissue's condition, including damage caused by an apparently self-inflicted bullet wound to his head.
"I think for a lot of things people are speculating about, it's still quite usable, pending viewing it," Vogel told the Times.
Fox News wrote this week that Paddock left no notes or manifesto indicating his motive but authorities found that he did Internet searches for details about the techniques used by police to breach rooms during standoff scenarios.
Dr. Jan E. Leestma, the author of the textbook "Forensic Neuropathology," told The New York Times that the public should not be hopeful to find a motive in Vogel's research.
"It's a tricky, tricky business," Leestma told the Times. "The correlation of what might be structurally there to behavior is very difficult. Often it raises more questions than it answers."
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