What to know about a shooting at Joel Osteen’s megachurch

A shooter’s motive for opening fire in celebrity pastor Joel Osteen’s megachurch remained unclear Monday as authorities searched the suspect’s home in suburban Houston and identified the weapon used in the attack as an AR-style rifle.

The house in Conroe, Texas, is more than 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of Lakewood Church, where Sunday’s shooting in between busy services sent worshippers scrambling to find safety.

The shooter was identified as 36-year-old Genesse Ivonne Moreno, according to police. Police say Moreno was shot and killed by two off-duty officers working security at the church, one of the largest megachurches in the U.S.

Two other people were shot and wounded, including the shooter’s young son, who entered the church with Moreno.

Houston police Chief Troy Finner said Moreno entered the church wearing a trenchcoat and backpack and armed with a long rifle. Moreno began shooting and was confronted by two off-duty officers, a Houston police officer and an agent with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, who returned fire.

Before being shot and killed, the suspect told officers that they had a bomb and were carrying “a yellow in color rope and substances consistent with the manufacture of explosive devices, which appeared to be a detonation cord,” according to the search warrant affidavit. Authorities said Monday that no explosives or hazardous material were found at the scene.

WHO ARE THE VICTIMS?

Moreno’s son, whom authorities described as a 7-year-old, was shot in the head and remained in critical condition Monday. The boy was initially described Sunday as a 5-year-old.

It remained unclear how the boy, who was taken to a Houston children’s hospital, was struck by gunfire. Finner said he did not want to speculate but added: “That suspect put that baby in danger.”

Authorities described the other victim as a man in his 50s who was wounded in his hip.

WHAT IS KNOWN ABOUT THE SHOOTER?

Authorities said Moreno had a history of mental illness, including being placed under emergency detention in 2016, but provided no other details.

Police said Moreno legally purchased in December the AR-15 style rifle that was used in the shooting. Moreno was also carrying a .22-caliber rifle.

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