Randy McIlwain, NBC 5 News
New electronic billboards advertising a $200,000 reward for information in the Kaufman County murders of Mark Hasse and Mike and Cynthia McLelland have gone up around North Texas.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, along with officials from Kaufman County, the FBI and the Texas Department of Public Safety, held a news conference Thursday morning where he announced his office was adding $100,000 into the reward pool for the investigation into the deaths of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland, his wife Cynthia and Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse.
The additional funds bring the reward total to $200,000.
During the news conference, Perry addressed reports that gangs, cartels or the Aryan Brotherhood may be connected to the killings.
"It is very premature to make any statements about who may or may not have been involved with this. There was a report by the DPS that said the greatest threat to Texans' safety were the drug cartels. Obviously that's part of the investigation," said Perry. "We know we have a porous border. We know that the drug cartels, the gangs, both transnational and otherwise, in some cases, are operating together. So, all of that is obviously open for interpretation and investigation. We will leave no stone unturned. Any organization that is operating in the state of Texas outside the bounds of our laws is going to be put on notice that we're going to hunt you down, we're going to punish you and do our best to remove that type of threat to the safety of the citizens of the state of Texas."
Perry deferred answering questions about the murder investigations, or connections between the investigations, to law enforcement working on the cases, though he did commend them for their work so far.
"We're not going to allow the lawlessness of a few to cause us a moments hesitation in our efforts to make a safer and more secure Texas," Perry said.
Perry will next speak at the 1 p.m. memorial for the McLellands, where a capacity crowd of more than 3,000 people are expected at the First Baptist Church of Sunnyvale in Mesquite. Officials said there will be armed officers patrolling inside and outside the church during the memorial.
The funeral for the McLellands will be 10 a.m. Friday at First Baptist Church in Wortham. Burial will be at Wortham Cemetery. Wortham, where McLelland grew up, is 75 miles south of Dallas.