Since the shooting at an Orlando nightclub last week that left 49 people dead, reports have emerged that gunman Omar Mateen frequented the gay club, used gay dating apps and had gay lovers.
But the FBI has found no evidence so far to support claims by those who say Mateen had gay lovers or communicated on gay dating apps, several law enforcement officials said.
Mateen, 29, told police negotiators he had carried out the shooting that began at 2 a.m. June 12 and ended, after a three-hour standoff, when he was killed by police.
He claimed the shooting was carried out in allegiance to the militant group Islamic State, as a message to halt U.S. bombing in Iraq and Syria.
Several Pulse regulars have come forward in the days since the shooting, claiming to have seen Mateen at the club or to have been contacted by him on the gay dating apps Grindr, Jack’d and Adam4Adam.
On Tuesday, Univision aired a report in which “Miguel,” a man wearing a disguise to conceal his identity, alleged he had sex with Mateen after meeting him on the gay dating app, Grindr. He said Mateen had sex with other men too, including a threesome with a Puerto Rican who allegedly told Mateen, after having had unprotected sex with him, that he was HIV positive.
But investigators do not consider the man’s account credible, according to one senior law enforcement official with access to the investigation.
In seeking to verify the reports, federal agents have culled Mateen's electronic devices, including a laptop computer and cellphone, as well as electronic communications of those who made the claims, law enforcement officials said.
So far, they have found no photographs, no text messages, no smartphone apps, no gay pornography and no cell-tower location data to suggest that Mateen — who was twice married to women and had a young son — conducted a secret gay life, the officials said.
The FBI is continuing to explore Mateen’s past, but investigators now believe the men who made the claims are not credible, or confused Mateen with someone else.
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