WASHINGTON (CBS) - CBS News has learned investigators looking into the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting may be closer to learning a motive. We have learned the 20-year-old gunman was obsessed with another mass murder in Europe.
The shooter in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre may have taken his inspiration from a mass murder that took place in Norway a year and a half ago.
Investigators tell CBS News that 20-year-old Adam Lanza saw himself in direct competition with Anders Breivik. Breivik killed 77 people in July 2011. Eight died in a bombing near a government center in Oslo and 69 others were shot at a teen camp on a nearby island. Our sources indicate Lanza was obsessed with Breivik and was trying to top the Oslo shooter's body count. Former FBI profiler Mary Ellen O'Toole says, "His mentality would be not just that I can beat it, but I can get more attention, more notoriety, do it more efficiently, do it more skillfully."
Lanza's killing spree started Dec. 14. Police say he killed his mother at their home that morning and then headed to Sandy Hook Elementary where he killed 20 children and six adults. Investigators say he picked the Newtown, Connecticut school because it was the easiest target with the largest cluster of people.
Lanza was an experienced marksman. He and his mother made multiple visits to nearby gun ranges for target practice.
And we're told he spent hours a day playing video shooting games in the basement of his home. Officials are reaching out to the online gaming community looking for anyone who might have been communicating with Lanza.
Connecticut State Police spokesman Lieutenant Paul Vance has dismissed the CBS report calling it inaccurate, but CBS stands by the story as reported.
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