San Bernardino Attackers May Have Used $28,500 Online Loan to Purchase Weapons

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The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department on Dec. 3, 2015, tweeted this image of two handguns and two firearms recovered from the scene of a shootout with the suspects in a mass shooting in San Bernardino.

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In the weeks before the San Bernardino massacre, the husband-and-wife assailants obtained a $28,500 loan — an advance that authorities believe may have helped them acquire last-minute firearms, ammunition and components to build explosives, two federal officials said Tuesday.

The loan offers investigators a key new detail as they try to unravel how Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik plotted the deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 9/11. The money could also explain how they managed to pay for target practice at local gun ranges, as well as the rental sport utility vehicle they used during the Dec. 2 attack, the officials said.

Authorities were also looking into whether they left a device — made up of three bundled pipe bombs and remote-control car parts — that was intended to harm police responding to the shooting at the Inland Regional Center, according to a law enforcement source familiar with the investigation who requested anonymity in order to speak candidly.

Police radio chatter on the day of the shootings, in which 14 people were killed, mentioned a “suspicious device” in or near the conference room where the attack occurred. “We need to slow things down,” an officer ordered after the device was located. “I need you to advise all the units to move with caution.”

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