Before Friday’s elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., the 20-year-old allegedly removed his computer disk drive and smashed it, according to The Hartford Courant.
It will be difficult to recover any data, authorities and tech experts say.
Two sources told the paper the hard drive was “broken in pieces.” ABC News reports it “appeared to have been badly damaged with a hammer or screwdriver.”
Forensic electronics experts at the FBI will examine the drive in an effort to determine with whom Lanza corresponded electronically and how he otherwise used the device.
Tech experts also say Adam Lanza may have “overwritten the drive.”
FBI electronics experts will continue to examine the drive to see what is salvageable, but any insight into the mind of the Connecticut shooter may be lost forever.
Meanwhile, more details about the gunman are slowly emerging. And under a cloud of national mourning, a renewed debate about gun control is heating up.
A former director of security for Newtown Public Schools, Richard Novia said Lanza had Asperger’s syndrome, based on documents and discussions with Lanza’s mother.
Nancy Lanza was murdered by Adam shortly before the Sandy Hook massacre; he is believed to have used three guns, all registered in her name.
Novia said as part of his job, which he left in 2008, he would be informed of students who might pose problems to themselves or others for whatever reason.
Russ Hanoman, a friend of Lanza’s mother, previously told CNN that Lanza had Asperger’s syndrome and that he was “very withdrawn emotionally.”
But CNN has not been able to independently confirm whether Lanza had autism or Asperger’s syndrome, a higher-functioning form of autism.
Both are developmental disorders, not mental illnesses.
Many experts say neither Asperger’s nor autism can be blamed for the rampage, and saying his parents should have seen warning signs is highly debatable.
“There is absolutely no evidence or any reliable research that suggests a linkage between autism and planned violence,” the Autism Society said in a statement.
“To imply or suggest that is wrong and is harmful to more than 1.5 million law-abiding, nonviolent and wonderful individuals who live with autism each day.”