Mourners participate during a candlelight vigil held for the victims of a fatal shooting at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017, in Sutherland Springs, Texas. (Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)

Gov. Abbott suggests connection between gunman, Texas church

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas (AP) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is suggesting there may have been a connection between the gunman who shot and killed 26 people in a South Texas community and the Baptist church where the slayings happened.


RELATED: 26 killed in church attack in Texas' deadliest mass shooting


Abbott tells ABC's "Good Morning America" he expects people will learn about any such link "in a few days." He said he didn't want to go further, saying "law enforcement is looking very aggressively into this."

[ad number=“1”]

"I don't think this was just a random act of violence," Abbott told anchor George Stephanopoulos. But when pressed to elaborate on his connection theory, the governor replied that "it's very important that law enforcement have the ability ... to tie the loose ends of this investigation up."

He called the man, identified by a U.S. official and one in law enforcement as Devin Kelley, "a very deranged individual."

A sheriff says Kelley's former in-laws attended services at the church "from time to time."

Wilson County Sheriff Joe D. Tackitt Jr. told CNN Monday morning that the former in-laws weren't in attendance Sunday when the shooting occurred. He says it wasn't clear why the gunman picked that day for the shooting.

[ad number=“2”]

The mass shooting occurred Sunday morning at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, about 30 miles southeast of San Antonio. About 20 others were wounded in the attack.

Two officials who spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity identified the gunman as Devin Kelley. An Air Force spokeswoman said records confirm Kelley received a bad conduct discharge after being court-martialed in 2012 for assaulting his spouse and child.

[ad number=“3”]