Divers Recover Items During Search of Lake for Evidence in San Bernardino Massacre

A search for a computer hard drive and anything else linked to the husband-and-wife shooters who killed 14 people in the Southern California attack stretched into the weekend, as specialized divers with the FBI looked through a San Bernardino lake for abandoned evidence.

Investigators have said the killers tried to cover their tracks by destroying emails, cellphones and other items at their home in Redlands. They were tipped that the small lake in a park about 3 miles from where the shootings took place might hold the hard drive, according to a law enforcement official briefed on the investigation but not authorized to speak publicly about the case.

On Saturday, they searched the lake for a third day while funerals continued for those who were the slain.

Divers could be seen recovering at least two possible pieces of evidence on Friday during the second day of searches in the lake. The FBI declined to comment on what was found, but Thursday had indicated it was acting on leads that the identified killers, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, had gone to the area of Seccombe Park some time before they were killed in a shootout with law enforcement.  

Investigators have been seeking the digital trail of communications and planning for the attack.
The FBI has said it is apparent efforts were made to hide or destroy digital evidence, including two cellphones found earlier in a dumpster near the townhouse Farook and Malik rented in Redlands. One recovered computer was missing its hard drive — that is believed to be one of the significant items investigators have been seeking.
From a distance, one of the items recovered from the lake appeared to be of a size consistent with a hard drive. The items were kept immersed and packed for followup investigation.
A pressing question for investigators is whether there were additional conspirators, and whether planning for other attacks may have been underway, said Brian Levin, a criminologist attorney, former New York Police officer, and now Director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University San Bernardino.
Levin said the very fact the hard drive was removed indicates it likely has sensitive information the shooters did not want law enforcement to discover.
"There might be evidence of who they were speaking to," said Levin.  "It might be crucial to determine if there are active plots going on now."
Divers have not finished their search, and will continue Saturday, said the FBI's Laura Eimiller.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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