Connor Betts, the 24-year-old suspected of killing nine people in Dayton, Ohio over the weekend, had ‘expressed a desire to commit a mass shooting’ police said during a news conference on Tuesday.
Dayton police chief Richard Biehl confirmed that they had obtained further evidence on Betts, revealing that he had an obsession with “violent ideations” prior to the shooting.
“Subsequent material has revealed an orientation toward violent ideologies which elevates this case to one of federal interest,” said Biehl, who confirmed that the FBI had joined the investigation.
“Thus the FBI will be taking a central role in certain aspects of this case while the Dayton police department continues to focus on the homicide investigation.”
Betts, 24, killed nine people and injured 27 more on Sunday, including his own sister.
WATCH: FBI says they have not found evidence showing Dayton shooting was racially motivated
Officials still did not know why Betts specifically targeted Dayton.
“We have not found anything that indicates that it is a racial motivation at this time,” said FBI special agent Todd Wickerham during the conference.
Highschool classmates of the gunman told the Associated Press that he was suspended from school years ago for compiling a “hit list” and “rape list.”
Bellbrook police chief Doug Doherty read a statement on behalf of the Betts family on Tuesday.
WATCH: Betts family says in statement they’re ‘shocked and devastated’ by Dayton shooting
The family said in the statement that they are “shocked and devastated” by the shooting, offering their prayers and condolences to the families and friends of the victims.
“The Betts family is cooperating with law enforcement in their investigation into this tragedy,” the statement said. “They respect the investigative process being conducted by the Dayton Police Department and the FBI and will not comment further on this investigation.”
WATCH: Ex-girlfriend of Dayton shooter says she missed warning signs
The family also expressed their “enormous gratitude and love” for everyone who has reached out and given their support.
“They ask that everyone respect the family’s privacy in order to mourn the loss of their son and daughter, and to process the horror of Sunday’s events.”
The Dayton attack was the second mass shooting in the U.S. within 24 hours. The first was in El Paso, Texas, in which 22 people were killed Saturday.
WATCH: FBI say Dayton shooter sought out violent ideologies
— With files from the Associated Press