Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock wired $100,000 to an account in his live-in girlfriend’s home country of the Philippines in the week before he unleashed the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history, according to multiple senior law enforcement officials.
But while officials have confirmed that Marilou Danley was in the Philippines on Sunday when Paddock opened fire on a crowd attending a country music festival on the Vegas Strip, it was not known whether the money was for her, her family, or another purpose.
Danley, 62, who had traveled to Hong Kong on Sept. 25, could fill in some of the blanks when she returns to the U.S. on Wednesday, the officials said. Her arrival airport was not known.
Paddock’s still-stunned brother, Eric Paddock, said he suspects the money was to take care of Danley.
«One hundred thousand dollars isn’t that huge amount of money,» he said. «Condemn Steve for gambling. Steve took care of the people he loved. He made me and my family wealthy.»
Paddock may have «manipulated her so that she was far away from this and had money,» Eric Paddock added. «As he was descending into hell…he wanted to take care of her.»
Meanwhile, senior law enforcement officials told NBC News that Paddock gambled with at least $160,000 in the past several weeks at Las Vegas casinos.
There were 16 Currency Transaction Reports, or CTRs, filed for Paddock in recent weeks. The Treasury Department and the IRS mandate that casinos file the reports for «each transaction in currency involving cash-in and cash-out of more than $10,000 in a gaming day.»
It could not be determined from the reports whether Paddock won or lost or both on the days in question. But they do show there were multiple transactions.
Paddock had «the highest status» at Caesars Entertainment properties in Las Vegas, a source close to the investigation told NBC News.
The top level for gamblers is Seven Stars Tier Status, which is by invitation only and subject to alteration or cancellation, according to the company’s website. Privileges include comped rooms, room upgrades, player credits and access to «signature experiences.»
But Paddock gambled and lost in 2012 when he filed a slip-and-fall lawsuit against another Vegas casino, the Cosmopolitan Hotel. In fact, he was still owed $270 in court fees when he killed himself and 59 other people on Sunday.
Security video from the Cosmopolitan Hotel showed Paddock taking a tumble on Oct. 30, 2011, as he walked from a hotel shop toward a high-stakes area in the casino. He claimed he slipped in a puddle of liquid and initially sued for $100,000, according to the attorney for the hotel, Marty Kravitz.
Paddock claimed he had incurred more than in $32,000 in medical bills and also wanted to be paid for pain and suffering. The security video showed him getting medical attention and then being stretchered out of the casino.
The arbitrator disagreed and ruled in favor of the casino, dismissing the negligence allegations as «without merit.»
«They always ask for a lot more than they can get, but he got nothing,» Kravitz said.
In other developments, investigators have also found a sledgehammer and 13 suitcases in the 32nd floor room in the Mandalay Bay hotel that Paddock used to stage the slaughter, according to an internal law enforcement document seen by NBC News and senior law enforcement officials.
They believe Paddock used the tool to smash the two windows from which he opened fire on the concert-goers below with the arsenal of 23 firearms that were also found in the room. Another 19 firearms were found in Paddock’s home in Mesquite, Nevada.
Instead, police found Paddock dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Investigators believe Paddock and Danley started dating in spring 2017 and lived together in Mesquite. They do not believe she was involved in the shooting «at this time,» law enforcement officials told reporters on Monday.
«We have had conversations with her and we believed her, at this time, not to be involved. But obviously that investigation will continue,” Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said. «She was not with [Paddock] when he checked in. We have discovered he was utilizing some of her identification.»
Investigators still have not determined a motive for the mass murder. The death toll currently stands at 59 but officials have warned that could climb. More than 500 people were wounded.