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FBI ends search of lake as part of terrorism investigation

San Bernardino lake search

FBI dive team search the bottom of Seccombe Lake for electronic devices or other evidence possibly disposed in the lake as they continue to investigate the terrorist attack in San Bernardino.

(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Terrorism investigators have completed for now their recovery effort at a lake where officials believe the San Bernardino shooters may have dumped electronics and other evidence.

Law enforcement sources said divers found some items Friday during the search of Seccombe Lake but it’s unclear what they were.

Investigators received a tip that the shooters -- married couple Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik -- may have visited the area on the day of the attack, said David Bowdich, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles field office.

An examination of digital equipment recovered from the home of the couple who killed 14 people in San Bernardino last week has led FBI investigators to believe the shooters were planning an even larger assault, according to federal government sources.

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Farook and Malik were in the final planning stages of an assault on a location or building that housed a lot more people than their Dec. 2 attack site, the Inland Regional Center, possibly a nearby school or college, according to federal sources familiar with the widening investigation.

Investigators have based that conclusion on evidence left behind on Farook and Malik’s computers and digital devices, not all of which the couple were able to destroy before they were killed in a firefight with police hours after their rampage, the sources said.

Images of San Bernardino-area schools were found on a cellphone belonging to Farook, according to a law enforcement source. But the source cautioned that Farook may have had a legitimate reason to have the images because his work as a county health inspector involved checking on school dining facilities.

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richard.winton@latimes.com


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