The FBI is now investigating the Pensacola Navy base shooting as act of terrorism

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  • Authorities say the shooting attack at Naval Air Station Pensacola is being investigated as an act of terrorism.
  • Three young service members were killed and eight people were injured when 21-year-old 2nd Lt. Mohammed Alshamrani of the Royal Saudi Air Force opened fire on the base.
  • Rachel Rojas, the FBI special agent in charge, said at a Sunday news conference that authorities were reported to be investigating the identified shooter's friends to "discern if any possible ideology" was a motivation for the attack.
  • Reports immediately after the attack said that the shooter watched mass-shooting videos at a dinner party before the attack and that one of the three students who had attended recorded the shooting, but Rojas did not confirm such reports.
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Authorities now say the shooting attack at Naval Air Station Pensacola is being investigated as an act of terrorism after multiple reports revealed disturbing details about the shooter's possible motives. 

"We work with the presumption that this was an act of terrorism," Rachel Rojas, the FBI special agent in charge, said at a Sunday news conference reported by multiple outlets, adding that investigators were still trying to determine a motive and cautioning that the investigation "has not led us to any information that indicated any credible threat to our community."

Three young service members were killed and eight were injured when 21-year-old 2nd Lt. Mohammed Alshamrani of the Royal Saudi Air Force opened fire in a classroom armed with a 9-millimeter handgun and several extra magazines before he was killed by responding officers.

In the day following the attack, authorities were reported to be investigating the identified shooter's friends to "discern if any possible ideology" acted as motivation for the attack, Rojas said Sunday.

All international students at the Pensacola base have been accounted for, and there is no immediate threat to the community, Rojas said.

"There are a number of Saudi students who are close to the shooter and continue to cooperate in this investigation," Rojas said. "The Saudi government has pledged to fully cooperate with our investigation."

pensacola shooting

FBI via AP

The Associated Press reported that an anonymous official said investigators believed the gunman visited various tourist sites in New York City in the days before the shooting. Rojas would not confirm or comment on the report.

The AP also reported that Alshamrani held a dinner party before the attack where he watched mass-shooting videos and that one of the three students who attended recorded the shooting while two other Saudi students watched from a nearby car.

US Defense Secretary Mark Esper confirmed that report on "Fox News Sunday," adding that it was unclear whether the person had been filming the attack before it began in anticipation or whether the person began filming only after the attack began to unfold.

The shooter was one of more than 850 Saudi nationals and more than 5,000 total foreign students from 153 countries in the US for military training, according to the AP.

The attack came at an already tense time for US-Saudi relations. President Donald Trump did not jump to condemn the country or the programs hosting foreign nationals, but he pledged to "look into the whole procedure." 

"This has been done for many decades," Trump said Saturday. "I guess we're going to have to look into the whole procedure. We'll start that immediately."

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