The FBI has found no evidence that Orlando gunman Omar Mateen led a secret gay life.
Mateen went on a rampage inside an Orlando gay bar, killing 49 people and wounding 53 others on June 12.
After the mass murders, several gay men came forward claiming they communicated with Mateen via gay dating apps. Others said Mateen was a regular customer at Pulse nightclub.
But after conducting 500 interviews, and an extensive search of Omar Mateen’s electronic devices, including laptop computers and cellphones, the FBI concluded Mateen did not have gay lovers or communicate with men on gay dating apps.
According to the Los Angeles Times, federal agents “found no photographs, no text messages, no smartphone apps,” and “no gay pornography” on Mateen’s devices.
Agents also used data from nearby cellphone towers to track Mateen’s movements. The data suggested the only gay club Mateen visited was on the night of the massacre.
Surveillance video shows Mateen entering Pulse nightclub at 11 p.m. on June 12. He left just before midnight and then returned at 2 a.m., armed with an assault rifle.
The FBI discredited a man named “Miguel,” who appeared on Univision TV wearing a disguise. Miguel claimed he had sexual relations with Mateen. Miguel said the married father-of-one participated in an orgy with 3 Hispanic men. And he suggested Mateen may have been outraged because he contracted the HIV virus from a Hispanic male.
Rather than label the gays liars and shameless attention-seekers, federal agents said the men may have mistaken Mateen for someone else.
But the men and the national news media stand by their claims.
“People died by that man’s hands and [the] only thing this country is concerned about is if he is gay or not,” said Kevin West, a Pulse regular who was among the first to accuse Mateen of being gay.
West eagerly sought out media attention by claiming he communicated with Mateen for a year on the Jac’d gay hookup app. But Jac’d stated they found no evidence of Mateen on their service.
Still, the news media clings to their theory that Mateen was gay.
The NY Daily News, which ran daily stories on Mateen’s alleged gay lifestyle, noted on Friday that the FBI reached “no formal conclusion on the question of Mateen’s sexuality.”