The Latest: Lynch tells gay community: ‘We stand with you’


ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on the massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando (all times local):

3:05 p.m.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch has told the gay community “we stand with you” and insisted that investigators are continuing to follow leads on the gunman and mass shooting at a Florida nightclub.

She made the comments at a news conference Tuesday in Orlando, where she traveled to meet with prosecutors, first responders and victims of the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

She says investigators will “go back … and see if there’s anything we could have missed or anything we could have done better” in terms of spotting gunman Omar Mateen as a threat.

She wouldn’t give specifics about the investigation or a possible motive. She said “people often act out of more than one motivation” and called the June 12 massacre at the gay club “clearly an act of terror and an act of hate.” She added that a motive may never be known.

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12:25 p.m.

A temporary fence that was erected around the Pulse nightclub in Orlando after a massacre there has been removed.

The fence was removed Tuesday after 49 victims were killed at the gay club June 12. Officers were seen removing the chain link fence near some barricades.

A makeshift memorial that went up nearby shortly after the massacre was still standing Tuesday, with chalk messages in the sidewalk and utility poles. Among them are drawings of hearts, the message “God bless” and the hashtag “#orlandostrong.”

Most roadblocks around the club had been removed earlier in the day.

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12:05 p.m.

A request for emergency disaster funding in the wake of the Orlando nightclub shooting has been denied, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency says the disaster fund is not an “appropriate source” for such money.

In the aftermath of other mass shootings — including San Bernardino, California, and Newtown, Connecticut — state officials did not request such aid. Massachusetts officials made a request after the Boston Marathon bombing, which was considered an ongoing event as law enforcement pursued the bombers for several days.

FEMA spokesman Rafael Lemaitre said Tuesday that the agency has approved a request from Florida to reallocate $253,000 in unspent money from the Homeland Security Grant Program to help pay for overtime costs in the wake of the shooting.

Republican Gov. Rick Scott says he’s disappointed with the decision to deny emergency disaster funding. He says it means the U.S. government won’t provide $5 million.

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11 a.m.

Much of life is starting to return to normal in the neighborhood of the Florida nightclub where 49 people were massacred more than a week ago in the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

Most of the roadblocks around the gay nightclub Pulse had been lifted by Tuesday morning. Still, two blocks of southbound traffic that run directly in front of Pulse remain closed.

Orlando police officials say that stretch of road is expected to reopen soon. It includes two businesses.

More than a half-dozen blocks were closed to traffic around Pulse following the June 12 shooting.

Restaurants, a car shop and other businesses were hurt by the street closures.

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10:40 a.m.

Florida’s governor says the federal government has denied his request to declare a state of emergency following the massacre of 49 patrons at a gay nightclub in Orlando.

Gov. Rick Scott said late Monday in a statement that as a result, the U.S. government won’t provide $5 million in federal funding to help pay for law enforcement response, medical care and counseling services for the victims of the Pulse shooting.

Scott says he is disappointed by the decision.

In addition to the 49 victims killed, 53 people were hospitalized in the June 12 massacre.

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3:50 a.m.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch is visiting Orlando to meet with prosecutors, first responders and victims of the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

Lynch’s trip comes as the Justice Department investigates the June 12 massacre at the Pulse nightclub, in which 49 people died and dozens were wounded. Federal investigators who have conducted hundreds of interviews say they haven’t ruled out charges against others in connection with the shooting and say they’re still working to determine why Omar Mateen, who died in a gun battle with police, picked a popular gay nightclub as his target.

More clues emerged Monday when the FBI released a partial transcript of phone calls Mateen had with a 911 operator and crisis negotiators once the shooting got underway.

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