Was Orlando shooter Omar Mateen a gay himself ?
Omar Mateen, the alleged ISIS loyalist who massacred 49 people and left another 53 severely injured at a club in Orlando was himself a regular at the gay nightspot and used gay dating apps.
Regular clubgoers told local media and MSNBC that Mateen had been using multiple gay apps, including Grindr, with mutual acquaintances to "hook up."
At least four regular customers of Pulse, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender nightclub where the massacre took place, told the Orlando Sentinel on Monday that they believed they had seen Mateen there before.
Another clubgoer, Kevin West, told the Los Angeles Times that Mateen messaged him on and off for a year using a gay chat app.
"Sometimes he would go over in the corner and sit and drink by himself, and other times he would get so drunk he was loud and belligerent," Ty Smith told the Orlando Sentinel yesterday, referring to slain shooter Omar Mateen, 29.
Smith told the paper that he saw Mateen inside at least a dozen times.
"We didn't really talk to him a lot, but I remember him saying things about his dad at times," Smith said. "He told us he had a wife and child.
The latest development has put a question mark over reports that it was Mateen's hate for homosexuals that led to the tragedy.
However, Mateen's father Seddique Mir Mateen had claimed his son got angry when he saw two men kissing in Miami a couple of months ago and thought that might be related to the shooting.
Mateen's father told NBC News that "this has nothing to do with religion" in spite of reports that his son had declared his allegiance to ISIS.
FBI chief James Comey said his bureau was "highly confident" Mateen had been "radicalised" while consuming online propaganda and that he had claimed allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a series of calls during the attack.
The massacre reverberated on the presidential campaign trail, where Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton, the two likely opponents in the November 8 election, clashed over how to confront violent Islamist extremists.