Christopher Wray, the director of the F.B.I., told Congress last month that the bureau had made about 100 domestic terrorism arrests in the first three quarters of the year, roughly the same number of international arrests over that time period.
No United States government agency is responsible for designating domestic terrorism organizations, and there is no criminal charge of domestic terrorism. Individuals who are considered domestic terrorists are charged under other existing laws, such as hate crime, gun and conspiracy statutes.
Officials have said that domestic terrorists continue to be radicalized online, where individuals are able to align with other extremists, become inspired and find the resources they need to act.
The investigation is currently being led by the state of Texas, with assistance from the local sheriff’s department, the F.B.I., Border Patrol and others. During a news conference Saturday afternoon, law enforcement officials said that they were exploring potential capital murder charges.
“Not speaking about this particular instance, which is still under investigation, the manifesto narrative is fueled by hate, and it is fueled by racism and bigotry and division,” said Veronica Escobar, the congresswoman who represents El Paso. “El Paso has historically been a very safe community. We’ve been safe for decades. We will continue to be safe.”
She added, “This is someone who came from outside of our community to do us harm.”
Once again on Saturday, America’s epidemic of mass shootings intersected with the divisive issues of race and immigration.
The words of the manifesto, in citing the “great replacement” theory, echo the slogan that was chanted during a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017: “Jews will not replace us.”