Authorities have confirmed that the perpetrator of the Texas shooting which left 26 people dead was involved in a family dispute, and that he had sent threatening texts to his mother-in-law before the attack.

Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, entered the First Baptist Church in rural Sutherland Springs, Texas during Sunday service, armed with an assault rifle and dressed in black tactical gear. He opened fire, killing 26 and wounding at least 20 others.

Police confirmed that his mother-in-law attended that church, though she was not present at the time of the shooting.

Freeman Martin, regional director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, confirmed that there appeared to be no political or religious motivation for the killings:

We can tell you that there was a domestic situation going on within this family. His mother-in-law attended this church, we know that he had made threatening texts from him. We can’t go into the details of that domestic situation [but] we want to get that out there; that this was not racially motivated, this was not over religious beliefs, there was a domestic situation going on.

After the shooting, Kelley was ‘engaged” by a civilian with an AR rifle, who hopped in a car and gave chase to the suspect. At some point, Kelley veered off the road and allegedly shot himself to death.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott says that Kelley had been denied a gun licence, though he did not specify precisely why.

Kelley was previously in the military, and he had a history of domestic abuse. The New York Times reports that in 2012, while Kelley was stationed at the Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, he assaulted his wife and stepson. The assault on his stepson was reportedly so bad, according to retired colonel Don Christensen, that the infant’s skull was fractured.

The Times reports that many of Kelley’s friends from high school had recently unfriended him on Facebook due to his increasingly dark and erratic posts.

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