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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Authorities are treating the investigation as terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California; Interview with San Bernardino Shooting Survivors; Robert Adams' Wife Remembers Her Husband; Data Destroyed by Terrorists May Be Retrievable. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired December 4, 2015 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:15] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening again from San Bernardino.
Tonight, new answers in the act of terror here that took 14 lives. That is how it is now being investigated, an act of terror. We have just got out first look at the female, half of the husband and wife terror team. The picture originally obtained by ABC News.
Just about the same time, the master got underway, she put up a Facebook post pledging allegiance to ISIS. Now, that much know.
We also know more about how they armed themselves and modified at least one of the semiautomatic rifles making it capable of firing hundreds of rounds a minute with a single pull of the trigger. We learned more as well about what proceeded the shooting, that big question that has been remaining, did the gunman argue with one of his co-workers or not before the shooting?
The police chief here as just spoken about that in particular with Gary Tuchman and to safe to say he made some news which happen momentarily on that very crucially question, all that and more tonight.
But first, the latest on the investigation from CNN justice correspondent Pamela Brown and joins me now.
Let's talk about what - I mean, authorities today calling this a terror investigation.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: That's right. And this is really significant. Because for the past two days, the FBI has said we are not labelling this as terrorist act. We are not calling this as terrorist investigation. But today, they have enough evidence that has been uncovered over the last 24 hours for them to confidently say this is a terrorist investigation. Part of that is this Facebook posting that we know that the wife of Syed Farook posted on Facebook pledging allegiance to al-Baghdadi and then was deleted by Facebook, I think that played a role in official's believing this was a terrorist act. Also other evidence they recovered from some of the electronics from the home, information on human sources and other means that we don't even know about that they haven't been able to specify.
But I will tell you, Anderson, even though this is being treated as a terrorist investigation, we heard director Comey today say a lot of this evidence doesn't make sense. It's not clear cut for them. And the belief now is that there could be a myriad of factors at play with this attack. Something having to do with the workplace because investigators are really focused on that. Why was that targeted? Was there religious issues in some sort or did they plan something else and then that day change? They are looking at that. They are looking at whether the wife may have played a role in influencing Syed Farook.
COOPER: She had been living overseas.
BROWN: That's right. She became a lawful resident in last -- this past summer in 2015, July of 2015. She came over the summer before on a fiancee visa. So not married that long. What is interesting about that, she's such a mystery to officials. They know very little about her. So right now FBI agents in Pakistan are trying to run down everything they can about her.
COOPER: And it also raises questions because they even get that visa she would need to go through some sort of background check. So, of course, then it raises questions about the background check which also has larger ramifications, obviously, with the whole debate over refugees.
BROWN: DHS and state department.
COOPER: Right. In terms of the possibility -- I mean, any evidence at this point of ties to a larger organization, direct ties to ISIS or anyone else overseas?
BROWN: Right now officials are saying there is no connection they are seeing in the stage of the investigation in a connection between them and terrorist organization and they are also saying, Anderson, that they don't believe that they were part of a larger cell. But you heard director Comey today caveat everything, saying at this early stage. So perhaps there is something that they reveal in the course of the investigation. But at this point, this could be a case of self-radicalization, Anderson. That is a theory that authorities very much believe could be reality.
COOPER: Which makes it all the more difficult for law enforcement to actually track if they aren't having some larger connections in a larger network.
Pamela, appreciate the reporting.
Evan Perez, our justice reporter, has also been working his sources for us throughout the day uncovering especially chilling detail about the assault rifles used that can only be legally sold as semiautomatic. However, they can be converted to fire and full auto, hundreds of rounds a minute and there is evidence this couple did just that. Evan joins us now with the latest. So what have you learned tonight about the long guns themselves?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, the long guns used by the shooter were altered after they were bought. Now, officials say at least one of them was made to shoot more like an automatic weapon. Investigators have found tools that can be used to alter the long guns and they also found large capacity magazines to use with their arsenal. So that's where the focus ISIS is when that change was made.
COOPER: They should have had some sort of locking device, wouldn't they?
PEREZ: That's right. State law in California requires that these types of long guns to carry what's known as an upper (ph) magazine locking device which is commonly called a bullet button. It requires a tool to release the magazine and it is meant to slow you down so that you can't quickly change magazines to keep shooting.
COOPER: And were all the weapons legally purchase? And, you know, did they directly buy all the weapons?
[20:05:04] PEREZ: Well, they didn't. They were bought legally in 2011 and 2012. The AR-15s were bought by a friend, a former roommate, actually of Farook's. And so the -- what we know now is that somewhere in between that period and the day of the shooting, they were either sold or transferred to Farook and his wife. And so the FBI was looking to talk to that person. They interviewed that person today. And right now what we're told is that the FBI does not believe that person had anything to do, any knowledge about this massacre, Anderson.
COOPER: And finally, Evan, it was last night on this program, you broke the news about two cell phones recovered that were smashed, also a hard drive that someone had tried to destroy, as well. Do you have a sense of how long it may take to find out whether or not they can get information off those devices?
PEREZ: Well, those devices were flown back to D.C. to actually to Quantico to the lab here to try to see what they can do to get into them. But we spoke to the FBI director James Comey today. He said that that work was very much a priority because they want to know who those peep were communicating with leading up to this attack. That work is ongoing as we speak.
COOPER: All right. Evan Perez, appreciate the reporting as always.
CNN intelligence and security analyst Bob Baer is with us here in California. He is a former CIA officer. Also joining us is former FBI assistant director Chris Swecker and CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen. He, of course, is the author of the upcoming "the United States of jihad."
Bob, in terms of the sophistication of the operation, what have you been looking at over the last 24 hours? What jumps out at you?
BOB BAER, CNN INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY ANALYST: Well, I have been talking to people how you would take a building down like this. And I think it was for them the perfect target because he knew what the security was. He needed to do it quickly. He needed to know he could get out the back, that there were in police in the building. He clearly went and cased it. You know, from a professional standpoint, this was done well. It really was and then the phone, smashing the phones.
COOPER: The fact they would want to destroy the phones, I mean, it would lead one to believe there was somebody they were communicating with that they don't want a trail of but could be just them wanting to just cover their tracks.
BAER: This was too well-planned for that. I think it's about 100 percent they were trying to erase any signs they were in touch with people. That there was some wider network. Was it in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia? Was it locally? I don't know. I hope they will find out.
COOPER: Peter, relatives of this guy, Farook, have suggested that it was his wife that actually radicalized him. Obviously, they would have an incentive to say that. But they are saying essentially she was the driver behind the attack. What do you make of that when you look at other attacks, other females who have involved in these kind of attacks?
PETER BERGEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: It is certainly one of the question we've assembled a database of all the American recruits to ISIS. And about one in six of them are females. And this is kind of unprecedented as when you think about previous holy wars against, you know, in Afghanistan or in Bosnia or against the Serbs, you know, women were really excluded. So - and of course, he is a highly misogynistic organization. So this is something new. And I think it is perfectly implausible that she played an important role, maybe not lead role, in precipitating this. Because then, if you look at his travel, of Farook, he went to Saudi Arabia in 2013 and 2014. And by the account of his co-worked, it was, of course, then that he got married. But it was also then that he turned to a more fundamentalist (INAUDIBLE). Started growing a long beard and he appeared to become more devote. Now, that in itself is not an indication of you are going to be violent. But it is something that the New York police department would look sort of as a marker on the way to radicalization.
COOPER: Chris, as we were talking about with Pamela Brown, the FBI announcing this is a terrorism investigation. You called this, frankly, the night of the attack, you and I were on the air together. And after you heard the FBI official making his press conference that evening live on our show, you said look, this is -- they are clearly looking at this terror front and center.
In terms of the biggest priority right now, is it trying to figure out if this couple was part of a larger network because obviously, if they were, there are other bad actors out there.
CHRIS SWECKER, FORMER FBI ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: No doubt about it. I mean, they are expanding a lot of resources just doing the basic forensic sets at the scenes. But what they are really, really putting the full-court press on is trying to determine if there are in fact direct ties.
Being inspired is one thing and that certainly is a brilliant strategy on the part of ISIS in the use of the Internet. And maybe they used the Internet to recruit him a wife for the expressed purpose of radicalizing him knowing he lived in the U.S. and can move about in the U.S. But I do think that it's fairly extraordinary for the FBI to come out that early and send out those tips and indicators that this was in fact international terrorism, not domestic terrorism because if it's inspired internationally, it is an international terrorism case and they use very different techniques in the cases so it does make a difference.
[20:10:12] COOPER: And Peter, in terms of the wife pledging allegiance to ISIS, you pointed out that those drawn to ISIS are younger, more female than past terror groups. Can you explain why that is or how?
BERGEN: Well, the why I think is kind of tricky, but it is a fact that the average age of the people who are in the United States who are joining the females are 21, the males are 24. This is a young group. They are very active on social media. Nine out of ten, you know, are posting kind of (INAUDIBLE) on social media. But the one that interesting about these two is they practice careful operational security. They didn't seem to have the typical presence when you find on Facebook or twitter. That - I mean, I think they have learned from other cases where the FBI is perfectly legal for the FBI to monitor people who are posting sort of, you know, fan boy material about ISIS on Facebook or ISIS and we've seen a lot of cases where they are certain informants. This couple was careful not to do that.
COOPER: And Bob, that raises the point which I think you talked about the other night which is when you have a married couple, they don't need to be -- I mean, it's very possible they were communicating with others, but a lot of the operational details that they are working out they can just do, you know, pillow talk.
BAER: Yes, exactly. That's why, why the phones? I mean, they would come home. They could have made the bombs by themselves, acquired the weapons. Why would they have any communications? These people are smart enough to get off the net, not use encrypted communications we've found so far. So who -- what was on the hard drive that was so compromising, what was on the phones? And I've been told over and over again by law enforcement there are multiple teams in the United States ready to strike. And they told me this a year ago and we talked about it on TV.
COOPER: And Peter, in terms of what we have already seen in terms of arrests over the last several years, I mean, there have been arrests pretty much in every state.
BERGEN: Yes, I mean, FBI director Comey says it is 900 investigations in 50 states. And we have seen publicly people being at least 80 people being arrested so far in 21 states. So those are just the cases that are known publicly.
COOPER: Twenty one states.
COOPER: And Chris, CNN obtained this inventory of everything the FBI sees from the couple's home. There are a couple things that stood out to you. I'm wondering what those were.
SWECKER: Well, the first thing that jumps out at me when I looked a second time was there is a pen camera with an SD card which, you know, that's not an everyday item. That leads me to believe there was extensive surveillance, covert casing or surveillance possibly and what comes out of that similar card that SD card will be very interesting.
And of course, you look at all the bomb-making materials, all the ammunition, this was a full-time job for them when he wasn't at work. And I would be hard pressed to believe that anybody that walked in that townhouse wouldn't see all that. That would be very difficult to hide. I mean, every basically everything that came out of that house has something to do with the event that the attack and terrorism. So it is going to be very interesting to see what comes out of that media as was just mentioned. I think you are going to see possibly some other low-level aiding and abetting at the least from some people who -- some local people and possibly some very direct connections to international terrorism.
COOPER: That's interesting, the idea anybody going into that house would have kind of had to pick up on something.
BAER: Yes. I mean, you know, here is the problem. Look from the FBI's point of view. These people haven't committed a crime. They haven't done anything illegal. They are not up on the net --
COOPER: Prior to the attack.
BAER: Prior to the attack, yes. SO I mean, they really can't get a warrant to get in this house. I mean, this is their problem. The FBI has complaint to me over and over again. It's what we can't see that disturbs us and that's where ISIS is going to come from, from what we can't see.
COOPER: Bob bear, thank you. Chris Swecker, Peter Bergen.
Just ahead, we do have more breaking news tonight, important news to tell you about. San Bernardino's chief of police has insight on whether or not there actually was a workplace argument that preceded the shooting on the day of the shooting. The narrative is changing on this if you remember early on there was a lot of talk there was some sort of dispute that this guy was there and left and then came back and started shooting. The question is was there really a dispute? New information from the chief of police on that.
Also, more on the weapons these two killers acquired and how easy it was for them to do it.
[20:18:10] COOPER: Welcome back. The breaking news tonight, a killer's pledge of allegiance to ISIS. Investigators now treating the murders here a terrorism, scrambling to trace any wider connections or even local connections. Also, all across the area here and more gathering to pay tribute to
the fallen to honor their lives and express the profound loss that so many are feeling here. That vigil right now happening in Riverside, California.
That's not all, though. Late today, San Bernardino police chief Jared Burguan spoke with our Gary Tuchman and made some news regarding a question that all of us have had, almost from the beginning.
Garry Tuchman joins us now.
From the beginning of this, there were reports based on I assume eyewitnesses who said that there had been some sort of dispute at the actual office event at the center that the gunmen then got into a dispute. Left and came back 30 minutes or so later shooting with his wife. What did the police chief say about that? Do they know? Was there a dispute?
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Just so you know, I talked to the chief and the sheriff here at San Bernardino County and they basically said that this point, it doesn't look like there was a dispute. It was one of the questions I asked as to couple of more. We will show you right now.
TUCHMAN: Was there or was there not an argument at this holiday party with this killer?
CHIEF JARED BURGUAN, SA BERNARDINO POLICE: We don't know for sure. We have initial information from a witness or some witnesses that left the party and provided information that it appeared that he left upset or under some form of duress. There is also indication from other people that he was there. There was nothing out of the ordinary and then suddenly he was gone.
So we have about 300 people that we have interviewed out of that building. We interviewed everybody that was in the party, what we haven't had the opportunity to sit down with every single one of those interviews and try to get a sense of the collective way that people generally agree that may or may not played out.
[20:20:05] TUCHMAN: So is it fair to say that a number of these people say did an argument and a number of people say (INAUDIBLE)?
BURGUAN: At least one person felt that was the case.
TUCHMAN: Is there indication at these points that these killers talked to anyone overseas or would report that was inspired by overseas?
SHERIFF JOHN MCMAHON, SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: There is no indication from our perspective to that contact overseas or whether they are in fact inspired. I know based on my conversations with the assistant director of the FBI. They are looking into all of that as we speak. But we consider as well, as the chief considers, this is some form of terrorism within the United States in the county of San Bernardino.
COOPER: I'm back here with Gary and also Pamela Brown.
It is interesting, I mean, Pamela. I mean, this could be very important because that idea of some sort of immediate dispute on that day, that also led to the whole workplace violence question in the workplace incident. It still could be, there could be a longer term issue within the workplace that we don't know about at this point. But if there was no actual dispute that then sort of adds again to the terrorism angle that this was something preplanned.
BROWN: And I think that's part of the reason why you're seeing officials move more toward the terrorism angle. I will tell you as recently as yesterday morning the workplace dispute, workplace violence theory was still very much on the table for officials I've been speaking with. And then as more evidence has come to light and we are getting more clarity about the witness interviews and what they are saying and you are looking at all the evidence, investigators have been looking at this and saying wait a second, this doesn't seem like an isolated workplace dispute. This seems like terrorism but they aren't taking the workplace angle off the table.
The officials I have been speaking with are looking whether there was sort of a blend here or longer term, like you said, deep seed issue at work or religious issues or something to that effect that played into --
COOPER: The choice of target.
BROWN: Exactly. Because I've been throwing people off from the very beginning and even today, why do they choose this place of work? Why there?
COOPER: Right. In terms of a -- if your angle is terrorism, which investigators now say it was, you might --
BROWN: A government target.
COOPER: Right. You might go for something, more of a government target. Something that has more of a symbolic target, a symbolic meaning to it and in this case --
BROWN: Or a soft target like, you know, movie theater, a mall, one or the other. So the fact -- what is throwing investigators off is the fact that he worked there and he targeted that. That is as one official said, if he hadn't targeted the workplace at this point in the investigation, it would be -- they wouldn't even look at anything other than terrorism.
COOPER: Keep in mind just the horror of this. I mean, this was a group of people which had thrown a baby shower for this man six months prior to this. I mean, that they had, you know, they viewed him as just part of their office. I talked to two people who we are going to hear from shortly who said look, he was one of them.
TUCHMAN: I mean, I asked the police chief and I asked the sheriff, do you have any idea if there wasn't a dispute? And like they said, they only have to talk to one person who said there was a dispute. Everyone else said there wasn't. But is there any idea why he went there? And they said they don't know. But they acknowledged he knew the people there and the people knew him.
BROWN: And we heard director Comey on that note say today. The evidence is not adding up and this is part of why he says that.
COOPER: Interesting. Gary Tuchman, great interview, thank you. Pamela Brown, as well.
Again, there is evidence tonight that these two may have converted at least one of the semiautomatic rifles essentially into a machine gun turning an assault style rifle into the real thing. In any case, whatever they did to them they had no trouble acquiring them, a lot of them legally.
CNN senior investigative correspondent Drew Griffin explains.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Four guns, thousands of round of ammunition, tactical gears and pipe bombs, building a terrorist arsenal in the U.S., it is easy, cheap, and it has been done before.
By CNN's calculations, everything the killers used to kill 14 people could have been purchased easily and legally for less than $5,000. And according to a family attorney, the use of guns was nothing alarming, not even when you add up 6,000 rounds of ammunition.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When people have guns and ammo, a lot of times they go to shooting and firing ranges, they waste a lot of Amy.
GRIFFIN: It was the Colorado Theater shooting that exposed to the public just how easy it is to assemble an arsenal. The shooter masters arsenal over the Internet. All shipped anonymously through online purchases. He bought tear gas canisters, tactical gear, multi- round magazine holders and 4,300 rounds of ammunition from a company called bulkammo.com. Quentin Caldwell was on the other end of that purchase in Colorado, barely escaping death.
QUENTIN CALDWELL, AURORA SHOOTING VICTIM: That is disturbing. If I can go and fully equip myself that easily, it's ridiculous.
GRIFFIN: In most states you can buy as much as you want. In 1986 Congress passed and President Reagan signed the firearm owners' protection act which restricted sales of fully automatic weapons but also pretty much removed any rules about buying ammunition. It made it legal to buy ammo through the mail and dealers don't have to keep track of anyone who buys ammo, no matter how much. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ammunition sales is not regulated. To sell
ammunition you don't have to have a license. No one knows who is selling ammunition. And to buy ammunition, you don't have to provide any identification, at least since 1986.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's 500.
GRIFFIN: The ease of buying ammunition is literally celebrated on You Tube videos called unboxes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So as you can see here, this is 9,000 rounds of .9 lure.
GRIFFIN: It's almost as easy to buy components and build a pipe bomb. At least in California, say the killers had 12 of them, simple bombs with pipe components bought in hardware stores, black or smokeless powder you can buy by the pound and a terrorist magazine that takes you through a step by step process that promises a bomb from materials in your mom's kitchen. The bombs in California didn't work similar, cheaply made bombs in Boston did. Cheap, easy and everything need purchased legally.
COOPER: Drew Griffin joins us now.
I mean, one of the big questions, Drew, in the Boston marathon bombing case and now apparently in this case, how could they be making these bombs in small apartments and no one knows or notices, hard to believe.
GRIFFIN: That was certainly the case. Tamerlan Tsarnaev supposedly put together his rice cooker bombs or pressure cooking bombs on a kitchen table and a together on a table in tiny Cambridge apartment. We were led to believe his wife didn't know. And in this case it seems even stranger because you have what authorities describe as a mini pipe bomb factory in this townhome that we have been able to tour. And the mother-in-law is living there and nobody notices anything with the tools and pipe bombs? It just doesn't make any sense really logically speaking but we'll have to wait to see what the agents say.
COOPER: Yes, Drew, thank you for the reporting.
Just ahead, a 360 exclusive, for the first time, you are going to hear from two people who were inside that conference room and got caught up in the massacre as it unfold and what they saw happened. All of this very crucial to the unfolding investigation. That's next.
COOPER: onight's breaking new -- a first look at the female half of the husband and wife terror team. ABC News obtained this photo of the wife, of the San Bernardino shooters. She submitted it as part of her U.S. visa application. Now, today U.S. officials said that she pledged her loyalty to ISIS in a Facebook post as the shooting itself was happening. Also tonight, at "360" exclusive, in interview you'll only see here. For the first time, two survivors of the shooting are speaking out answering some important questions about the attack itself. Corwin Porter and Trudy Raymundo, both supervisors, were among dozens of county public health workers taking part in what was a training session on Wednesday. They were supposed to give a department presentation. And it goes without saying that what they witnessed is beyond horrific. They agreed to talk to us because they want to honor their fallen colleagues and their colleagues who are now in the hospital. They told us they don't want to talk about graphic details of what they witnessed and, of course, we have agreed to honor their requests. Here is my exclusive interview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: How are you doing?
TRUDY RAYMUNDO, SHOOTING SURVIVOR: I'm hanging in there. Minute by minute, you know, I think trying to stay as strong as possible right now.
COOPER: How are you?
CORWIN PORTER, SHOOTING SURVIVOR: The same thing, knew each of these individuals that were affected at this event personally and it's been hard, but there's been a lot of things for us to take care of. That's kept me a little distracted from really thinking too deeply about it at this point.
COOPER: What was this event that day?
RAYMUNDO: It was an educational meeting. In fact, Corwin and I were there. We were going to give a presentation, a department presentation. I was there to thank all of the staff for all the incredible things that they have done throughout the year. And we were going to talk about all the exciting things that we were looking forward to for 2016.
COOPER: You got there about an hour before the shooting?
RAYMUNDO: We did, we did. We got there a little after 10:00.
COOPER: Did you see when the two came in, when the incident began or did you see instantly what was happening?
RAYMUNDO: Yes. I mean, I was at the back table that was near the exterior door.
PORTER: Because we were on break at the current time.
RAYMUNDO: It came through, so I mean I was at the table getting coffee and checking out that - that goodies that were sitting there. And it was that point in time, you know, when we all heard gunfire right outside the door and all turned to look at the door to watch him come in.
COOPER: Is there anything else you want to say about what happened from then on in terms of in those moments?
RAYMUNDO: I mean, I think just instinct kicks in, adrenaline kicks in. You know, they are such an amazing staff, you know, I was under the table with some of the staff and we just kind of held on to each other.
COOPER: So there were tables that you could try to hide under?
RAYMUNDO: The tables with the food, yes, we -- as soon as we saw him come in, we ...
PORTER: And the rest of the staff had tables, too, some less exposed, more exposed than others. Immediately I saw before I went under my table, people going under their tables throughout the room.
RAYMUNDO: Try to find safety.
COOPER: Did you have a sense of how long it went on for? I know oftentimes people kind of lose the sense of time in something like this.
RAYMUNDO: Realistically, no, I mean, it just - it seemed like it was forever. It seemed like it went on forever.
PORTER: It did. It seemed like the shooting just went on forever.
RAYMUNDO: And all I could think of was, why doesn't he stop? Why, why, why does he keep shooting?
COOPER: Did either of them say anything?
PORTER: I never heard anything spoken. First thing when the door flew open, immediately the shots started being fired.
COOPER: And you didn't hear anything, either?
RAYMUNDO: Them speaking? No.
COOPER: Did you know both the perpetrators?
RAYMUNDO: I did not know either of the individuals.
COOPER: There's been a lot of questions about an altercation or some sort of a dispute either at the event. Do you know anything about that? Did you see anything of that?
RAYMUNDO: No. We're unaware.
PORTER: No, and I didn't witness anything, either, and we were there for almost an hour before the event occurred and so there was no indication of any -- nothing that I observed of any altercation whatsoever.
COOPER: So if there had been some large altercation or dispute in this one room where everybody was ...
PORTER: It would have been very obvious.
PORTER: And we would have either stepped in or our supervisors present would have stepped in and taken care of that. Nothing. There was nothing that occurred.
COOPER: In terms of the behavior of the two while it was happening, did you have a sense it was one person leading and one following?
Did it seem? Or could you not really tell? I know it happened fast?
PORTER: For me I was under the table pretty quick and I didn't see a whole lot.
COOPER: Did they stay in the same spot or did they walk?
PORTER: There was a little bit of movement.
RAYMUNDO: I think for me, I mean I just saw -- I saw one person come in and then I saw two people leave. So -- and I don't know if that was simply because I ducked, you know, before the second person came in, but I didn't really see any interaction between the two individuals.
COOPER: And this staff had actually given a baby shower to -- for this man, is that ...
PORTER: Yeah, that's my understanding. I vaguely recall something like that occurring among the environmental health folks. They did some recognition. I think the baby was born about six months ago.
COOPER: Does that stay in your mind as something -- when I heard that, that sort of stuck in my mind as this person is killing people who gave a baby shower to him.
RAYMUNDO: You know, I mean, it's -- the fact that they gave him, you know, a baby shower I mean I think is just - is indicative of the whole group. They are close knit, they are tight. They are -- they are a family. You know, they -- this is a group that they are beyond just co-workers. I mean, they are friends and they consider each other part of their family. And so -- and that's how they treated everyone.
COOPER: Is there anything else you want people to know?
RAYMUNDO: I think I want folks to know, I mean, especially my -- the rest of my public health family, the rest of our county family, you know, we're certainly thankful for the outpouring of support from everyone, but I need folks to know, we are strong. We are strong. We will get through this. We are together. We are a family. And we will get through all of this together.
COOPER: Well, thank you both, I really appreciate it, and ... PORTER: Thank you.
COOPER: Thank you.
RAYMUNDO: Thank you.
COOPER: There's a lot of - a lot of grief there and a lot of pain for all those who have lived through this and a lot of sense of loss, obviously. If you want to make donations, they gave us some information you can text S.B. United, that's S.B. United, all one word two one, and then -- I'm sorry, someone is telling me this in my ear. Can you repeat that number again? SB United 71777. So text SB United 71777.
Just a few minutes ago, we got a statement from the family of Denise Perasa who was wounded in the attack. Now, it's a letter, really, a letter they asked us to read to honor a man named Shannon Johnson who they said saved Denise's life. And that reads, "This is Shannon Johnson, Wednesday morning at 10:55 a.m. we were seated next to each other at a table joking about how we thought the large clock on the wall might be broken because time seemed to be moving so slowly. I would have never guessed that only five minutes later we would be huddled next to each other under that same table using a fallen chair as a shield from over 60 rounds of bullets being fired across the room." The letter goes on. "I will always remember his left arm wrapped around me holding me as close as possible next to him behind that chair and amidst all the chaos, I'll always remember him saying these three words, "I got you." I believe I am still here today because of this amazing man. This amazing selfless man who always brought a smile to everyone's face in the office with his lively stories about his hometown back in Georgia. This is Shannon Johnson who will be deeply missed by all. This is Shannon Johnson, my friend, my hero."
Just ahead tonight, a lot more to tell you, we've got more breaking news in the investigation, the FBI combing through the digital trail that the killers tried to destroy. What they are looking for and how difficult it may be to retrieve data from smashed cell phones and hard drives when we continue.
COOPER: Tonight's breaking news, the San Bernardino massacre, now officially a terrorist investigation with the FBI now in charge. It's been a day of fast-moving revelations. ABC News originally obtained this photo of the female shooter Tashfeen Malik. The first photo we've seen of her. It was part of a visa application. U.S. officials now say that she declared her loyalty to ISIS on Facebook at some point during - while the incident was going on. How she and her husband became radicalized and why they targeted a room full of his co-workers, that's still very much a mystery to law enforcement. According to authorities, the couple tried, though, to cover their trail.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DAVID BOWDICH, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, FBI LOS ANGELES OFFICE: We have also uncovered evidence that these subjects have -- they attempted to destroy their digital fingerprints. For example, we found two cell phones in a nearby trash can. Those cell phones were actually crushed. We have retained those cell phones and we do continue to exploit the data from those cell phones. We do hope that the digital fingerprints that were left by these two individuals will take us towards their motivation. That evidence is incredibly important.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Motivation and potentially anybody else that may be involved. Investigators, obviously, are hoping to retrieve vital data from those devices. Joining me now are Shawn Henry, former FBI executive assistant director. Also, CNN law enforcement analyst Art Roderick. He's joining me here. He's a former assistant director for the U.S. Marshals Service. Sean, let me start off with you. Authorities finding the smashed cell phones used by the suspects in a garbage can. We reported earlier today, Evan Perez reporting those phone have been sent to the FBI forensic lab. If they were trying to erase their digital footprint, can authorities get data off the phones?
SHAWN HENRY, FORMER FBI EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: You know, it really depends, Anderson, on exactly what tactics they may have used to erase the data depending on how that was done, the FBI has got certain capabilities, software applications that will allow them to retrieve, if not the totality, partial pieces. If those devices were physically destroyed, there still are ways that they may be able to reconstruct, not 100 percent. Alternatively, through ISP, the providers as well as some of the companies they may have used for applications, they may be able to find information that was stored off of the devices that they thought was only stored on the devices, however it was stored elsewhere. So, there are multiple channels to try and pursue, Anderson.
COOPER: You've had a long career, Art, obviously, tracking down fugitives internationally here in the United States.
How hard is it for somebody to cover their tracks or how easy is it?
ART RODERICK, FORMER ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, U.S. MARSHALS SERVICE: Well, you know, if you can -- every one of these criminal cases, every fugitive case I've ever worked, we've always tried to get to the communication device, whether it was a cell phone, computer, whatever they were using to communicate with support systems or to get resources. Once we got a hold of that device, we could exploit that device, either track through tracking or monitoring their messaging and it would always come back to that particular device. So it's key in these investigations.
COOPER: Although, Art, I mean I keep coming back to the fact that this is a married couple who are living with each other. So, they have the advantage of - I mean maybe there is a larger network, but they certainly have the advantage of being able to - during the same place, they don't need to be communicating with each other, at the very least, a lot of operational details. They can do that face-to- face.
RODERICK: They can, but when you look at like the stuff that's been seized, that we saw several of the inventory lists of the stuff that's been seized, there was a lot of equipment in there, whether it was accessories for weapons, you know, where did they get all this stuff? Who helped them get the gun powder for the explosives? Who helped them put those things together? So, there had to be some other support system out there, and I think that's what they are going to find on these cell phones and these hard drives, if they ...
COOPER: Shawn, I assume also it's not just who they are communicating with, but what are - what kind of websites are they visiting, what kind of information are they downloading, you know. Are they learning about bomb-making from something online or is it -- if they haven't done that, does that mean that it was somebody face-to-face teaching them?
HENRY: That's absolutely right. You know, Art just alluded to that. Where are they getting the information, the intelligence, to where with all to actually construct these devices and where are they - you know, we're talking all along since this occurred, what was the motivation or how were they radicalized, and if they are connected with specific websites or if they are being pushed specific information either from external place or from internal, internal radicalization. So, that's going to be one of the major pieces there, Anderson.
COOPER: How long do you think, Art, it may take to get information? I mean how complex is this?
RODERICK: You know, based on how much damage they did to this equipment is really what it's going to come down to, but I think they should be able to tell at least fairly quickly if they are going to be able to get anything at all. Now, it might take a little more time. You know, Shawn had talked about the software, the software packages out there that the bureau uses, the secret service uses, anybody that's involved in this type of cyber stuff, that they are able to pull that information off. That could take some time, but I think they are going to know fairly quickly if they are going to be able to get anything at all.
COOPER: And Sean, apparently authorities also found another cell phone on the female suspect with no apps or encryption services on it. It seems like that cell phone had only been used recently. Does that tell you anything?
HENRY: You know, it may have been a device that was just picked up after this last one was destroyed. We've seen in many cases, terrorist cases, where they are dropping phones, they've got burner phones and by constantly changing up their communication strategies, they are trying to throw law enforcement off the track. But that device, while it might not have specific applications, perhaps, there are photos or some GPS coordinates that might have been secured within that device. They will certainly go through it in totality, just to ensure that they pulled the thread completely and that there is nothing else there of any value, Anderson.
COOPER: Yeah, let's hope they get something and get it quick. Shawn Henry, thank you. Art Roderick as well.
Still ahead, we remember a life cut short by the attack here in San Bernardino. Robert Adams was the kind man who married his childhood sweetheart, cherished every moment as a husband and as a new father. We'll hear from his wife, next.
COOPER: As we continue to follow every angle of the investigation, we also want to remember those who lost their lives and day by day we're learning more and more about them. Robert Adams was a devoted husband, a loving father, someone who enjoyed his work, was looking forward to taking his 20 month old daughter to Disneyland. His life cut short by this terrible violent act of terror. Earlier today his wife Summer was kind enough to invite us into their home and talk about the man that she had loved since they were teenagers.
Can you tell me about Robert?
SUMMER ADAMS, WIFE OF SHOOTING VICTIM ROBERT ADAMS: Sure. My husband Robert Adams was a very devoted father and husband. Robert and I have been together since we were teenagers.
COOPER: You were high school sweethearts?
ADAMS: We didn't go to the same high school, but we were t high school sweethearts. He's - been a part of my life. I've been with him for 23 years and married for almost 15.
COOPER: How did you first meet?
ADAMS: We met at church and I was 15 years old.
COOPER: What was it about him?
ADAMS: He was funny and I think anybody that met Robert would say that he had an excellent sense of humor. He was a prankster. He was funny. He was witty.
COOPER: Did he do pranks on you?
ADAMS: Not on me, but I know, I know he just liked to have a good time and he would always say he loved to make people laugh and he -- that's what really drew me to him initially. And he was affectionate, he was loving, devoted, there was not a day that went by that I didn't know that that man didn't love me more than anything on earth.
COOPER: That's an incredible gift.
ADAMS: It is. It is and when we were younger, we decided we didn't want to have kids and as we ventured into our late 30s, we started to change our minds, but I was still a little scared and he said, don't worry. You're not going to be alone. I'm going to do this with you. You'll have a lot of help. But, you know, I am alone now. But I'm so grateful that I still, that I do have a daughter and I have a piece of him that will always be in my life.
COOPER: She looks a lot like him.
ADAMS: She looks just like him and he loved her more than anything on earth. He would just said he couldn't believe we made an amazing little human. Last weekend I said to him thank you for taking care of my daughter and he said what are you thanking me for? She's my daughter, I'm not a babysitter. I'm not taking care of her. She is - this is what I do. That's just how he approached everything, everything in life. He was very positive. Very happy person. Who loved everyone and he was very helpful, giving the biggest heart ever. Very generous. And ...
COOPER: And Savannah is 20 months old.
ADAMS: She just turned 20 months old the day before this happened and she just recently kind of fell in love with mickey mouse and he was -- we weren't going to take her to Disneyland until she was much older, but because she likes Mickey so much, he convinced me that we should go to Disneyland and we took vacation days for next Thursday and we were planning our first trip to Disneyland and he was really excited to see her - how excited she would be, to be there and to see it through her eyes and he was excited for Christmas. It was going to be her first Christmas that she would kind of get excited and understand what was happening and he was really into the holidays. We're going to go get our tree. We took her for pictures with Santa last week and he was just really involved and really excited to see things he was looking forward to future years. He loved science and he would tell me, I can't wait until she's older and I'm going to teach her about science.
And that kind of, you know, speaks to his career.
COOPER: Does it seem real?
ADAMS: You know, I go through I'm sure just like a lot of people, moments of times where I think of happy memories and I may even laugh and smile when I'm thinking about Robert I go through moments of immense grief where I'm hysterical on something uncontrollably. I go through moments of shock and disbelief. This morning I went and made his arrangements for his burial and it was extremely hard and his -- I also asked people to think of his family, his mother and his father and his brother and his extended family. They are having an extremely hard time, as well, but I do also want to thank people for the outpouring of love and support. I definitely feel loved and supported by the community here where we live, from his co-workers.
COOPER: Incredibly strong.
ADAMS: I don't feel strong. You know, Robert was my -- I always said Robert was the perfect complement and balance to me. He - I was kind of the serious, analytical, logical and people that know me, and he was the fun, spontaneous and playful guy and we just made a great pair together. But I don't feel strong. I feel like I've always needed him and he's always needed me and it's hard to imagine that my life won't include him anymore physically being here with me. I loved him more than anything and he loved me. And I have no regrets about that. I know for certain.
COOPER: Well, thank you very much.
ADAMS: Thank you.
COOPER: We want to let you know that a go fund me page has been set up. It's a go fund me page set up to help the family. You can see it right now on your screen. If you'd like to donate, we have a link to it also on our Website, head to ac360.com.
In addition as we mentioned just a few moments ago, Arrowhead United Way has established a fund to help all those survivors affected. Donations again can be made by texting SB United, one word to 71777. That's SB United to 71777.
Still ahead, more on the investigation here. The FBI now calling this an act of terrorism. New details ahead.