A chilling portrait of a troubled young man surrounded by the tools of extreme violence emerged Thursday as investigators released some of what they found after the Newtown school massacre.
During three days of searching shooter Adam Lanza's home, investigators discovered 1,400 rounds of ammunition in his bedroom, assorted rifles and shotguns, three large samurai swords, eight knives, a bayonet and a powerful rifle scope.
There were three photos of a dead person, covered with plastic and apparently bleeding. Lanza had a newspaper clipping of the 2008 shooting at the University of Illinois in which a student dressed in black killed five and wounded 21 others.
"It's shocking that they had that much ammunition and firepower in their home and that someone was legally able to purchase that amount," said Newtown Action Alliance leader Po Murray, who lives close to the Lanzas' home.
On Dec. 14, Lanza shot his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School and killed 20 first-graders and six adults, shocking the quiet and bucolic town of Newtown and thrusting the nation into a debate over gun control and mental health.
Search warrants released Thursday provided a glimpse into Adam Lanza's murky world.
He played "Call of Duty," a violent video game, and had a gun safe, found open and unlocked, in his bedroom. He had Xbox 360 and Sony PlayStation game consoles and handwritten notes showing the location of various gun shops.
There was also evidence of Lanza's troubled mental condition among the 85 pages of search warrants released by the state judicial department.
The paperback book, "Train Your Brain to be Happy," was found inside the home, with pages tabbed. Other self-help books included "Look me in the Eye -- My Life with Aspergers" and "Born on a Blue Day -- Inside the mind of an Autistic Savant."
Calls for reforms
What all this says about Lanza, his home life and his mother, Nancy, the first of his victims on that tragic day, is a matter of debate. But the sheer volume of guns, knives and other items found in the killer's home will likely refuel the battle over gun control.
The General Assembly is considering gun bills, including banning assault-style weapons and 30-round magazines like those used by Lanza and extending background checks to all gun purchases.
"This is exactly why we need to ban high-capacity magazines and why we need to tighten our assault weapons ban," said Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. "I don't know what more we can need to know before we take decisive action to prevent gun violence. The time to act is now."
President Barack Obama, flanked by grim-faced mothers who have lost their children to guns, on Thursday said Washington must do something after the Newtown shootings. He called out to the families of four children killed at Sandy Hook sitting in his audience.
An assault weapon ban backed by Obama has been dropped by congressional leaders.
"Shame on us if we've forgotten," Obama said. "I haven't forgotten those kids."
In the days following the Newtown shootings, State Police and investigators used search warrants to comb through the Lanza home and a Honda Civic Adam Lanza drove to Sandy Hook after shooting his mother in her bed.
Adam Lanza smashed his computers before going on his shooting spree, but there was still evidence, and authorities have recovered some information from one broken hard drive.
In the days and hours after the shooting, investigators obtained five search warrants for Nancy Lanza's two-story colonial on Yogananda Street, her black Honda Civic and another car. The warrants initially were ordered sealed by a Superior Court judge.
On Thursday, the judge agreed to redactions requested by the state. The warrants were released, accompanied by a statement from Danbury State's Attorney Stephen Sedensky III, who is overseeing the probe.
Sedensky said all weapons involved on Dec. 14 had been purchased by Nancy Lanza, 52, and there is no evidence Adam Lanza attempted to purchase guns. He said a gun locker in the family home had not been broken into.
Superior Court Judge John Blawie agreed to black out some information in the documents, such as the name of a "citizen witness" who is referred to in search warrant applications. It's unclear whether Sedensky was referring to more than one witness.
Sedensky said naming certain people would "identify persons cooperating with the investigation, thus possibly jeopardizing their personal safety and well-being."
The judge also allowed omission of serial numbers for several items seized by investigators, such as a game console, as well as phone numbers and credit card numbers seized by authorities. One law enforcement expert said the serial numbers and other information is likely to prove useful to investigators seeking to track down people who had communicated with Lanza.
Just 11 days before Christmas, Lanza stormed the Sandy Hook school, first shooting out an entrance window.
He roamed a hallway and two classrooms in "military-style clothing," while holding a Bushmaster XM 15 military style rifle, according to search warrants.
Lanza first killed several adults before moving into classrooms full of children. He fired so fast and often bullets were found in cars in the parking lot.
In all, Lanza fired 154 rounds inside the school, using 10, 30-round magazines in about five minutes. Some were taped together to make it quicker to reload.
The warrants reveal he was found in the middle of one classroom dead from a self-inflicted head wound from a Glock 10 handgun, surrounded by the bodies of his last victims.
A .22-caliber rifle was found on the floor next to the bed where Adam Lanza murdered his mother.
A troubled mind
The documents offer no revelations as to why Lanza, a loner who investigators described as a "shut-in," went on his rampage, or why he chose a school full of elementary students. Lanza attended the Sandy Hook school, and one of his report cards was found at the home by investigators. An individual interviewed by the FBI, whose name was blacked out of the warrant, said the Sandy Hook school was Lanza's "life." But there was no elaboration to that remark in the search warrants.
Investigators also found school records, medical prescriptions, psychiatric records, receipts, subscriptions, newspaper clippings about Adam Lanza and his mother, drawings, written notes, typed notes, telephone records and school records.
The search warrants do not reveal the contents of any of those items or any of Lanza's writings, which include seven journals.
They found a receipt for a shooting range in Weatherford, Okla., confirming earlier reports that Nancy Lanza frequented ranges. She is believed to have been a sport shooting enthusiast who introduced her son to shooting.
Also discovered was a National Rifle Association certificate issued in the name of Adam Lanza. His mother had one as well.
Police even found a holiday card with a Bank of America check made out to Adam Lanza by his mother "for the purchase of C183 (a firearm)." While investigators labeled the C183 a "firearm," they may have been referring to a semi-automatic pistol, a CZ83. At the same time, a Google search also shows a camera bearing the same name. There was a digital print of a child and various firearms and a military-style uniform hanging in Adam Lanza's bedroom.
Sources have suggested Lanza was determined to break records for mass shootings and considered children easy targets.
He apparently was obsessed with the October 2006 shooting at a one-room Amish schoolhouse in Lancaster County, Pa., and the 2011 spree in Norway by Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people with bombs in downtown Oslo before killing 69 more at an island summer camp.
State legislators and the governor said Thursday that the release of the search warrants will help them fashion a better gun-control legislative package. But not everyone was pleased with the decision to release details of what investigators found.
Sandy Hook Elementary School parent Andrew Paley said releasing the documents is not "helpful for the healing process of the community."
And Newtown First Selectman Pat Llodra said it's painful each time new details of the shootings emerge.
"We struggle every day to stay on the path of recovery and every bit of information that becomes part of the public discourse holds a potential hurt for a family who has already suffered immeasurable harm," she said.
Staff writers Dirk Perrefort and Libor Jany contributed to this report.