A Texas State Senator who was briefed by the Texas Rangers said the man suspected of killing at least 19 children and two adults at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, Tuesday, bought two guns on his 18th birthday earlier this month.
The gunman, identified by Gov. Greg Abbott as Salvador Ramos, reportedly stormed the school and started shooting after crashing his car outside the school.
The gunman was shot and killed by a police officer called to the shooting, though NBC News learned late Tuesday night from the Texas Department of Public Safety that he wore body armor during the attack and initial officers were unable to bring him down and had to wait for tactical teams to stop him.
Just two days before the end of the school year, nearly 20 young lives were ended forever in a building that was supposed to be a safe place for second, third and fourth graders in Uvalde.
State and local police, assisted by federal agents, are now trying to determine the gunman's motive.
UVALDE SCHOOL SHOOTING
Texas State Sen. Roland Gutierrez, District 19 (D-San Antonio), said the Texas Rangers have learned the gunman bought the guns on the first day he legally could, on his 18th birthday.
"It was the first thing that he did on his 18th birthday," Gutierrez said. "It's astounding to me."
Officials have not confirmed the guns used in the attack and the ones bought on his birthday are the same weapons.
Authorities said it appears the gunman acted alone, but law enforcement told NBC 5 there's no doubt investigators will continue looking at whether others knew about his plans.
"They're going to want to find out if there's anyone else plotting or planning or took part in this. And law enforcement is not going to go to sleep until they answer all of those questions," said former Dallas FBI Special Agent in Charge Eric Jackson.
UVALDE SCHOOL SHOOTING
Jackson said agents and intelligence analysts will be ready to assist local police in plotting out the shooter's path to the attack. Meanwhile, he added, Texas and the country have an even bigger question to confront -- what's next?
"As much as we want to fortify schools, and I think that is absolutely what we need to do, we need to start asking a lot harder questions -- how can this continue to happen?" Jackson said.
NBC 5 is aware of an Instagram account circulating among law enforcement officials Tuesday as investigators consider whether it belonged to the gunman.
NBC 5 and our partners at NBC News have not been able to independently confirm that the account is his, but it includes a photo of two weapons that appear to match the description of weapons used in Tuesday's attack.