AP: Texas church attacker was former Air Force member

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SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, TX - NOVEMBER 5: Law enforcement officials gather near the First Baptist Church following a shooting on November 5, 2017 in Sutherland Springs, Texas. (Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas— A U.S. military official says the suspect identified in the mass shooting at a Texas church was a former Air Force member who was stationed in New Mexico at one time.

Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek says records confirm that Devin P. Kelley served in Logistics Readiness at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico from 2010 until his discharge. The date of his discharge and the circumstances under which he left the service were not immediately available.

The Pentagon also confirmed that Kelley was an airman “at one point,” but didn’t provide additional details. The officials — one a U.S. official and the other in law enforcement — spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the ongoing investigation, which they were briefed on.

People who live near an address listed for Kelley say they heard intense gunfire from that direction in recent days.

Sixteen-year-old Ryan Albers lives across the road from Kelley’s listed home. He says: “It’s really loud. At first I thought someone was blasting.” He says “It was someone using automatic weapon fire.”

Another nearby neighbor, who did not want to be identified, said he had also heard gunfire coming from across the street but couldn’t be sure if it came from the property listed as Kelley’s address. The neighbor added that the sound of gunfire is not unusual in the area given the seclusion and the big acreage of the surrounding properties.

A U.S. official says Kelley lived in a suburb of San Antonio and that he doesn’t appear to be linked to organized terrorist groups. The official says investigators are looking at social media posts Kelley may have made in the days before Sunday’s attack, including one that appeared to show an AR-15 semiautomatic weapon.

Authorities say Kelley walked into the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs and opened fire, killing 26 people and wounding about 20 others.

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