The suspect in the fatal shooting of eight people at day spas in and around Atlanta indicated he had issues with sexual addiction and the shootings may have not been motivated by racial hatred, law enforcement officials said on Wednesday.
Officials said that the 21-year-old suspect, Robert Aaron Long, appeared to have frequented the spas where Tuesday's violence occurred or similar ones, and that he was heading to Florida when he was apprehended, perhaps to carry out further shootings. Six of the eight victims were women of Asian descent.
"The suspect did take responsibility for the shooting," Captain Jay Baker of the Cherokee County Sheriff's Department told a news conference.
"It's a temptation for him that he wanted to eliminate," Baker added, referring to what he said were the suspect's sexual addiction issues.
While preliminary investigations appeared to suggest the suspect was not motivated by racial hatred, officials said it was still too early to know with certainty and the probe was still ongoing.
US authorities are still looking into whether the attacks were inspired by anti-immigrant or anti-Asian motivation or some personal grievance, a federal law enforcement official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.