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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Fiona Leishman

Texas mall shooting lasted just 'three to four minutes' before heroic officer shot gunman

A shooting at a Texas outlet mall, which has been ranked the second deadliest US shooting so far this year, lasted just "three to four minutes," according to authorities.

Eight people were killed in the shooting on Saturday May 6, as named gunman Mauricio Garcia, 33, opened fire on shoppers at the Texas mall.

Police authorities gave their first public conference since the shooting and said the whole event (shooting) would have likely taken just three to four minutes.

"The event was like three to four minutes from the time the first shots were fired, it was 3.37pm or something like that, and I think within three to four minutes the Allen PD officer had neutralised the subject," said Hank Sibley regional director of the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).

Memorials have been set up outside the mall to remember the victims (Getty Images)

In that short timespan on Saturday May 6, Garcia had taken eight lives and wounded seven other people when he opened fire with an AR-15-style weapon at the Allen Premium Outlets in Texas.

Among the eight killed were two young elementary school sisters, along with a couple and their young son, leaving another son orphaned.

The victims have been named as: Christian LaCour, 20, Aishwarya Thatikonda, 27, Kyu Cho, 37, Cindy Cho, 35, and son James three, Deniela Mendoza, 11, and sister Sofia Mendoza, eight, and Elio Cumana-Rivas, 32.

An Allen Police Department officer was responding to an unrelated call nearby, but rushed to the scene to confront the active shooter.

Sibley spoke of the officer's quick action and heroic act at the news conference which was held on Tuesday, May 9, saying that his actions saved "countless lives".

He added that the officer is still processing what happened and isn't ready to have his name made public just yet.

"If he hadn't been there, I think we'd have had a much more severe situation," said Sibley.

Law enforcement agencies gave an update on the investigation into the massacre which happened in Allen, Texas (Getty Images)

The investigation into Garcia's motive is still ongoing, however it has been shared that he expressed neo-Nazi beliefs on social media accounts linked to the gunman.

"We do know that he had neo-Nazi ideation," said Sibley.

"He had patches. He had tattoos."

It was noted that Garcia appeared to target the location rather than a specific group of people, with Sibley saying: "He was very random in the people he killed.

"It didn't matter the age, race, or sex, he just shot people, which is horrific in itself."

"The big question that we're dealing with right now is, 'what's his motive? Why did he do this'?" Sibley said.

"Well, the big question is, we don't know. That's what the investigation is trying to find out."

He went on to say that law enforcement would leave "no stone unturned" to try and identify Garcia's motive.

Sibley added that he had no criminal history prior to the shooting, but that Garcia did serve in the military in 2008 before being discharged.

Christian LaCour, 20, worked as a security guard at the mall (facebook)

US Army spokeswoman Heather J Hagan confirmed that he joined the Army in 2008 but was terminated three months later without completing his initial training.

An Army official who spoke on condition of anonymity said he was kicked out due to mental health issues.

Garcia received an 'uncharacterised' discharge - common for recruits who don't make it through training or the first 180 days, according to a defence official.

This type of discharge is not dishonourable, and would not set off any red flags or require reports to law enforcement.

Authorities also confirmed that Garcia had eight weapons with him the day of the attack - three on his person and five in the car.

Daniela Mendoza, 11, and Sofia Mendoza, 8, were both killed while their mother reportedly remains in a critical condition (gofundme)

All of which were obtained legally, according to Sibley.

Law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, have been investigating Garcia's electronics and digital profiles.

Garcia also reportedly researched when the mall would be busiest, and posted photos on social media in mid-April of a store near where he would ultimately begin his attack, according to authorities.

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