About five minutes before the attack, the FBI said it received tips about a threatening social media post.
By Associated Press
The tips to an FBI website and hotline before a gunman on Saturday burst into the Chabad of Poway near San Diego included a link to the anonymous post but did not offer specific information about its author or the location of the threat.
The bureau said Monday that employees immediately tried to determine who wrote the post, but the shooting occurred before they could establish his identity.
One of the tipsters told The Associated Press that he called the FBI tip line at 11:15 a.m. Saturday because the post linked to a manifesto that said the author was responsible for a mosque arson in the city of Escondido last month. He says he found online that had the mosque attack had happened and feared the new threat was real.
The tipster, who refused to provide his name because of security concerns, said the call with the FBI lasted four or five minutes and the shooting happened soon after. He described the FBI as quick and professional and said he doesn’t know what the bureau could have done.
The shooting happened around 11:30 a.m., and Earnest surrendered moments afterward. He is being held on suspicion of murder and attempted murder.
About 100 congregants were worshiping when the gunman killed Lori Kaye, 60, and wounded the synagogue’s rabbi, Yishoel Goldstein; 8-year-old Noya Dahan; and her uncle Almog Peretz.
The online manifesto written by a person identifying himself as John Earnest was an anti-Jewish screed posted about an hour before the attack. The poster described himself as a nursing school student and praised the suspects accused of carrying out attacks on mosques in New Zealand that killed 50 people last month and at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue that killed 11 on Oct. 27.