A motive for the attack wasn't immediately clear, but a year ago, the shooter's mother said she feared he might be suicidal.
“In March 2020, the suspect’s mother contacted law enforcement to report he might try to" attempt "suicide by cop," said FBI Special Agent in Charge Paul Keenan, who runs the bureau's Indianapolis field office.
The phrase "suicide by cop" refers to a self-destructive person who intentionally draws the attention of police in hopes of a deadly confrontation.
"A shotgun was seized at his residence. Based on items observed in the suspect’s bedroom at that time, he was interviewed by the FBI in April 2020. No Racially Motivated Violent Extremism (RMVE) ideology was identified during the course of the assessment and no criminal violation was found," the statement said. "The shotgun was not returned to the suspect.”
Wait- what? Evidently, the agency dropped its investigation of 19-year-old Brandon Scott Hole because neither a criminal violation nor a "racially motivated violent extremism (RMVE)" was identified.
If the FBI doesn't proceed simply because no criminal violation was found, that would be easily understood, though it does raise additional questions. However..... no "Racially Motivated Violent Extremism?"
That appears to mean that law enforcement went on its way because Hole's violent tendency was not motivated by racial hostility. It was irrelevant that the individual may have harbored great hostility with sophisticated plans to shoot a whole lot of people- only that his motivation was not racial.
A closer look at FBI policy adds detail. At a hearing of the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties in June, 2019, chairperson Jaime Raskin, a Democrat from Maryland, explained
But now the FBI has collapsed these prior 10 specific categories into four combined categories. It now uses, one, racially motivated violent extremism, which we have been told is an umbrella term that combines the prior subcategories for white and black racially motivated extremism; two, antigovernment/antiauthority extremism; three, animal rights/ environmental extremism; and, four, abortion extremism.
Thus the FBI addresses violent extremism, which it divides into four categories, one of which is racially motivated violent extremism. Hole did not threaten to commit violence motivated by racial bias. If only he had invoked a derogatory term for blacks, Latinos, immigrants, Latinos, ethnic Asians, or any other racial, religious, or ethnic group, action which might have derailed Thursday's attack may have been taken.
Nonetheless, the agency ultimately ignored the lethal danger posed by an individualbecause racism was not a motivation. There is a serious chance that Hole would not have shot up the FedEx facility if the FBI had believed it was its responsibility to investigate a violent person who might not have been a bigot.
We don't know whether Brandon Scott Hole was animated by racial animus when he went on a shooting rampage at the FedEx facility in Indianapolis. But that apparently was not what motivated him thirteen months ago. So the FBI let him go. Now there are eight people dead.