An old armory building that was converted into a Kaufman County Sheriff's Department training facility is currently serving as the command center for the investigation into the slaying of a county prosecutor.
Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse was shot to death in the parking lot behind the courthouse annex building on the morning of Jan. 31. Some investigators have referred to the slaying as an assassination of a public servant.
The command center serves several purposes. It allows for more coordination between the federal, state and local authorities directly involved in the investigation and serves as a warehouse for all the leads being vetted. Because it is offsite, it is not accessible to the public and should cut down on any leaks that could potentially hurt the investigation,
"It's a huge intelligence-gathering apparatus, and what they have to do is, they have to gather this raw intelligence, analyze it and synthesize it down into something that can actually be used," Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland said.
Autopsy results in the case have not been released. No arrests have been made, and authorities have not identified any suspects or a motive in the case.
McLelland said the situation is maddening and emotional for Hasse's colleagues, who still walk through the same parking lot where he was killed into a courthouse adorned with a floral memorial as a tribute to Hasse.
McLelland said many of his staff members can still be seen crying throughout the day. He said even he has a tough time focusing, because his mind often wanders to thoughts of his friend,
"You see a shadow at your door, and it kind of looks like him and you're seeing him pop in, and so that happens several times a day," he said.
There is still a $71,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case.
In the meantime, the district attorney's office remains focused on the pursuit of justice.
"Quite frankly, it's hard but, unfortunately, none of the other bad guys have taken off, so the office still has to move forward and we still have to do what we usually do and cope with this on top of that, so it's an extra burden for the whole office," McLelland said.