Crime

FBI sees surge in threat tips & arrests following El Paso mass shooting

FBI sees surge in tips from public

EL PASO, Texas - The FBI has seen a significant surge -- as much as 70% -- in the number of calls to its threat tip line following the El Paso and Dayton mass shootings earlier this month, a bureau official told ABC News.

On average, the official said, the FBI receives approximately 22,000 tip calls per week to the National Threat Operations Center at 1-800-Call-FBI and online at www.tips.fbi.gov.

In the weeks following the El Paso and Dayton shootings, that number has been up by 10,000 to 15,000 additional tip calls each week. In the first week of August alone, the official said, the FBI received more than 38,000 tips.

The official noted that not all of the tips become active FBI investigations and some are passed on to local law enforcement.​​​ "What that number does show is that people are calling the FBI more," the official said.

According to an analysis by ABC News, at least 14 individuals were arrested in a 20-day span following the El Paso and Dayton shootings who local, state or federal law enforcement have said were plotting or expressing interest in carrying out mass attacks.

The arrests indicate that law enforcement is taking a much more aggressive posture in addressing online threats and tips relayed to them regarding possible mass shootings. FBI Director Christopher Wray had directed the agency's field offices to identify threats similar to the recent shootings.

In a statement, the FBI again cautioned people to "remain vigilant and report any and all suspicious activity to law enforcement immediately."


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