President Joe Biden told reporters Wednesday that the series of shootings that killed eight individuals at Atlanta massage parlors on Tuesday is “very troubling.”
Still, the president added that he is “waiting for an answer” from the Justice Department and law enforcement on the shooter’s motive.
“The investigation is ongoing,” Biden said ahead of his virtual meeting with Irish Taoiseach Micheál Martin, “and the question of motivation is still to be determined.”
“Whatever the motivation here I know that Asian Americans are very concerned — because as you know I’ve been speaking about the brutality against Asian Americans for the last couple of months, and I think it is very troubling,” he continued. “I’m making no connection at this moment to the motivation of the killer and waiting for an answer as the investigation proceeds from the FBI and from the Justice Department.”
The president closed by promising he will “have more to say” when the investigation concludes. (RELATED: Why Won’t The Media Say Who Keeps Attacking Asian People?)
Local law enforcement officials told reporters earlier in the day that suspect Ryan Aaron Long was potentially motivated by a “sex addiction” and was planning additional attacks against Florida “porn industry” targets before being arrested Tuesday night.
“He apparently has an issue, what he considers a sex addiction, and sees these locations as something that allows him to go to these places,” Cherokee County Sheriffs spokesman Capt. Jay Baker said in a statement. “It’s a temptation for him that he wanted to eliminate.”
Six of Long’s victims were of Asian descent and seven were women.
This is a developing story and will be updated with more information as it becomes available.