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Dorner manhunt: Authorities chase 600 tips in search for ex-cop

February 11, 2013 | 10:34 am

Investigators have received at least 600 tips about Christopher Dorner, the fugitive ex-police officer sought in a series of killings, officials said Monday.

Hundreds of investigators are continuing to follow up on the potential leads, Los Angeles Police Department Lt. Andy Neiman said at a morning media briefing in downtown Los Angeles. The tips are being prioritized based on the information they contain.

Neiman also stressed that the ongoing search at Big Bear, although scaled back, remains a "critical piece of the investigation," saying authorities would remain on the mountain "until we've looked in every nook and cranny."

TIMELINE: Manhunt for ex-LAPD officer

Neiman said he does not know how much the multi-agency manhunt has cost so far, but described it as a "substantial cost to the city and taxpayers."

Investigators have also been in contact with Dorner's family, Neiman said, and are hopeful a $1-million reward announced Sunday would lead to his arrest.

"Our commitment is to finding Mr. Dorner and making this city safe again," Neiman said.

Local, state and federal agencies have spent days searching for Dorner, a former Los Angeles police officer and Navy veteran suspected of fatally shooting three people and wounding two others. The shootings began Feb. 3 with the deaths of Monica Quan, a Cal State Fullerton assistant basketball coach, and her fiance, Keith Lawrence.

PHOTOS: Manhunt for ex-LAPD officer

Quan was the daughter of a retired LAPD captain whom Dorner accused in a lengthy online manifesto of not representing him fairly at a hearing on his firing. In what police said was his posting to Facebook, Dorner allegedly threatened the retired captain and others he blamed for his firing.

More that 50 LAPD families remained under police guard.

While on the run Thursday, Dorner allegedly shot three police officers in Corona and Riverside, killing Riverside Officer Michael Crain, 34, a married father who served two tours in Kuwait as a rifleman in the U.S. Marines.

Crain's patrol partner, who was also wounded, is expected to survive.

Southern California has been on edge as the manhunt continues, prompting statewide alerts in both California and Nevada. Border authorities have been warned, and the Transportation Security Administration has urged pilots and aircraft operators to be alert and watch for stolen planes or suspicious passengers.

"It is believed that Dorner received flight training during his time in the U.S. Navy, but the extent
of his potential flying skills is unknown," the notification read. "While there is no specific information at this time that Dorner is considering using general aviation, TSA requests that operators use an increased level of awareness concerning any suspicious activity during the coming days."

The search turned to Big Bear on Thursday after Dorner's burning truck was found on a forest road.

Hundreds of sheriff's deputies, police officers and federal agents focused their search on the snowy mountains, checking cabin-by-cabin for any sign of Dorner. A scaled-back search continued Monday morning with about 30 officers searching vacation homes and cabins in "an even more remote area," the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department said.

There had been "no reported sightings" and no new evidence linked to the fugitive ex-cop in the area, officials said. A tip that Dorner might have been seen in San Bernardino early Sunday forced the evacuation of an apartment complex but proved to be a false alarm.

So did a reported sighting later that day at a Northridge Lowe's, prompting an evacuation of the store as police looked for Dorner. A law enforcement source later said the call to the Lowe's might have been related to a couple fighting outside the store.

Los Angeles officials announced Sunday a $1-million reward for information leading to the capture and arrest of Dorner. The reward — raised from local governments, police departments, civic organizations, businesses and individuals — is thought to be the largest ever offered locally.

"We will not tolerate this reign of terror," Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said Sunday at an afternoon news conference at LAPD headquarters. "Our dedication to catching this killer is steadfast. This search is not a matter of 'if.' It's a matter of 'when.' And I want Christopher Dorner to know that."

ALSO:

Dorner manhunt: Despite reward, no new signs of ex-cop

Dorner manhunt: conflicting testimony in ex-cop's firing case

Dorner manhunt: Riverside officials release name of slain officer

— Kate Mather

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