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Chris Dorner manhunt: Task force announced

Christopher Dorner is seen in surveillance footage captured in Irvine on January 28, 2013. (Irvine Police Department)
February 9, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Authorities on Saturday announced that a joint task force comprised of local and federal authorities has been assembled to find Christopher Dorner, the ex-police officer wanted in three killings.

Christopher Dorner manhunt: See a timeline of key events

In an afternoon press conference, LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith said the task forced would include the Los Angeles, Irvine and Riverside police departments, along with the FBI and U.S. Marshals, and other allied law enforcement agencies in the region.

"We will look under every rock, around every corner, we will search mountain tops for him," said Riverside Police Assistant Chief Chris Vicino at the press conference.

It was also announced that the LAPD planned to reopen the investigation into the disciplinary proceedings that led to the firing of 33-year-old Dorner. The firing apparently led Dorner to seek revenge against former LAPD colleagues who he believed cost him his law enforcement career.

Sources told Eyewitness News on Saturday that two AR-15 rifles were found in Dorner's truck in Big Bear, and the truck had a broken axle.

Sources also said that Dorner had a storage locker in Buena Park. A search warrant was served at the storage facility and it was searched Friday night. Irvine police said evidence was obtained from the location, and the scene has since been cleared.

Investigators would not say who was leasing the unit or what they confiscated. However, the storage facility's owner said the storage unit may have belonged to one of Dorner's relatives.

"I believe a laptop and maybe a few boxes and that was it," said Ara Aghanjanian. "The whole thing was maybe 20 to 30 minutes."

The massive manhunt for Dorner was suspended Friday night because of heavy snowfall. Law enforcement officials gathered at the Big Bear command center Saturday morning, ready to launch their all-out search efforts again.

According to San Bernardino County Sheriff's officials, about 50 law enforcement officers are searching the forest and conducting additional door-to-door checks. There are several additional patrol units throughout the Big Bear Lake community, and two helicopters are assisting in the search efforts. Officials also said the search is expected to continue until nightfall and will resume again Sunday morning, if needed.

With Dorner still on the loose, the LAPD remains on tactical alert.

There have been many reported sightings, including false alarms on an Amtrak train near downtown Los Angeles as well as the Twin Towers jail on Friday. Both turned up nothing. Law enforcement officials say Dorner appears to be everywhere and nowhere, and speculate that he's trying to spread out their resources.

Irvine police released photos snapped by a surveillance camera of Dorner at an Orange County hotel on Jan. 28. They are the most recent photos of Dorner that law enforcement officials are aware of.

Dorner, a former LAPD officer and Navy reservist, posted a lengthy online manifesto declaring war against the LAPD. He shot at several officers already, killing one on Thursday.

Later that day, Dorner's Nissan truck was found in the Big Bear area. The vehicle was abandoned and burned. An extensive search has been going on ever since.

As the manhunt resumes, many are wondering if he could be holed up in a Big Bear cabin or if he has left the area.

"Could be here, could not be here, but I'd say if he's here, they're going to find him. There's a lot of people up here looking for him," said Stephen Raphael, a Big Bear resident.

The latest update from the San Bernardino Sheriff's Department said crews were searching an 8-square-mile area of back country outside the Big Bear Lake area, combing through approximately 200 abandoned cabins. It's unclear whether authorities finished checking all of those cabins by the time they called off the search Friday night.

Thursday, investigators discovered some footprints near the scene of the burned Nissan, but those were ruled out after authorities determined they came from a cross-country skier. Investigators also found a kicked-in door in one of those abandoned cabins, but they ruled that out as old damage. Also, Dorner's mother owns undeveloped land in Arrowbear, about 35 miles from Big Bear. No clues turned up there either.

Both Bear Mountain and Snow Summit ski resorts reopened Saturday, but authorities urged people to be aware of the ongoing search.

Authorities say Dorner is likely utilizing his knowledge of both police and military tactics to evade capture. Transportation officials are warning California airports that Dorner has some flight training and may try to take an aircraft.

The public got a glimpse into Dorner's abilities and training in a video from 2005 shown on Eyewitness News Friday night. The video was shot by a man who wanted to remain anonymous. In the video, Dorner is seen as a cadet, and it provides a look into the weapons he may be carrying.

In his manifesto, Dorner claims to own a Barrett sniper rifle. It fires 50-caliber bullets that were first designed for a mounted machine gun that can penetrate tanks and airplanes, steel and concrete. A marksman with a Barrett could easily hit a target from a mile away.

Dorner is suspect in double murder, police shootings

Dorner is suspected of opening fire on three police officers in the Inland Empire on Thursday, killing one.

The slain officer served with the Riverside Police Department, which has set up a fund for those who want to make donations to that officer's family.

Checks can be mailed to:

Riverside Police Officers Association Assistance Fund (RPOA)
1965 Chicago Ave, Suite B
Riverside, CA 92507

The chain of events began Sunday after an Irvine couple, Monica Quan and Keith Lawrence, were found shot to death inside a car in the parking garage of their apartment complex. Quan is the daughter of an LAPD captain who represented Dorner during disciplinary hearings, which resulted in his dismissal from the department.

ABC News has learned that a man claiming to be Dorner called Randy Quan to taunt him. It was made four days after the murder of his daughter, Monica Quan.

Ex-LAPD Officer Chris Dorner manifesto: Read it now

Dorner implicated himself in the weekend retaliation murders in a multi-page manifesto, which also included his intent to restore his reputation by exacting revenge on specific officers he felt had a part in his firing.

New surveillance video shows a man believed to be Dorner dumping items in a garbage bin, including an ammo magazine and a military belt. It was taken Monday, one day after the murders of Quan and Lawrence, outside an auto parts shop in National City, south of San Diego.

Authorities emphasize that Dorner is armed and considered extremely dangerous. If seen, do not attempt to contact him and call 911.

Anyone with tips on Dorner is asked to contact the LAPD at (213) 486-6860 or dornertf@lapd.lacity.org.


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