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Forty-nine people are dead and at least 53 injured in the deadliest shooting in American history after Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old U.S. citizen, opened fire and took hostages inside the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla.

What we know:

FBI investigating whether Omar Mateen was a regular at Pulse

The Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
The Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The FBI is investigating reports that Orlando gunman Omar Mateen had been a regular at the gay nightclub he attacked and had used gay dating apps, a U.S. official briefed on the case said Tuesday.

A number of possible explanations and motives for the bloodbath that left 49 victims dead have emerged, with Mateen professing allegiance to the Islamic State group, his ex-wife saying he was mentally ill, and his father suggesting he was driven by a hatred of gays.

The picture grew more complex as patrons of the Pulse came forward to say that they had seen the 29-year-old American-born Muslim there a number of times or that he had been using gay dating apps. Mateen had an ex-wife and 3-year-old son.

Jim Van Horn, 71, said Mateen was a regular at the club. "He was trying to pick up people. Men," Van Horn told the Associated Press. While acknowledging he didn't know Mateen well, Van Horn said: "I think it's possible that he was trying to deal with his inner demons, of trying to get rid of his anger of homosexuality."

The official who said the FBI is looking into those reports was not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.


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