About 65 miles away, the manhunt continued in the San Bernardino mountains near the ski resort town of Big Bear, where authorities found Dorner’s burned out pickup truck Thursday. Police have since said they discovered weapons and camping gear inside the vehicle.
The search scaled down as the weekend went on, but a helicopter with heat-seeking technology scanned the area as two-dozen officers went back to some of the 600 cabins they earlier visited door to door.
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said despite the dwindling search, there was not another area that appeared more likely than Big Bear where Dorner might be, saying the suspect’s chances to plan beforehand may have helped him remain elusive.
“We have nothing currently better, Beck said at Sunday’s news conference.
Police and city officials believe the $1 million reward, raised from both public and private sources, would give them better options.
Beck said the money, believed the biggest reward in local history, was not difficult to pull together.
“It was amazingly, amazingly easy,” he said.
The chief said the case is distinct from most that offer rewards for fleeing fugitives because police strongly believe Dorner would strike again if given the chance.
“This is not about catching a fugitive suspect, it’s about preventing a future crime, most likely a murder,” Beck said. “This is an act, make no mistake about it, of domestic terrorism.”
He deflected questions about whether the reward applied whether Dorner were dead or alive, calling the phrase “ugly” and saying he hoped no one else was injured in the ordeal, including the suspect.
With little apparent evidence pointing to Dorner’s whereabouts, worrisome questions emerged: How long could the intense search be sustained? And, if Dorner continues to evade capture, how do authorities protect dozens of former police colleagues whom he has publicly targeted?
LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith said the department has deployed 50 protection details to guard officers and their families who are deemed targets in Dorner’s manifesto.
“It can’t be one guy with a gun in a living room,” Smith said, suggesting that more officers would be necessary to keep families safe.
The department, however, is looking for alternatives if the search for Dorner stretches on, whether it’s reducing the numbers of officers or something else, he said.
There were no plans to reduce protections until Dorner was in custody, Los Angeles police Sgt. Rudy Lopez said.
As long as Dorner’s whereabouts are unknown, the police department must provide protection to those named in his rant, said Chuck Drago, a Florida-based police consultant.
“We realize it costs money and it gets expensive, but this is as clear of a threat as you can get,” he said. “We know that if he’s able to get to these targets then he’s probably able to hurt them. The money is always an issue but not when it’s somebody’s life at stake.”