Posted: Feb 12, 2013 9:19 PM by NBC News
CALIFORNIA - Investigators were waiting to enter the torched California mountain cabin where police sources say ex-cop Christopher Dorner barricaded himself after a deadly shootout with sheriff's deputies, amid denials by officials that the fugitive's body had been found.
"That cabin is still too hot to make entry," LAPD Commander Andy Smith said at a Tuesday night briefing several hours after the structure went up in flames following a gun battle that left an officer dead and another wounded.
"It has not been searched because it is still too hot. No body has yet been found."
San Bernardino Sheriff's spokeswoman Cindy Bachman said investigators "believe there is a body in there" but had not gone in because "they believe there is live ammunition in there and the building is still smoldering."
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa also told NBC News that authorities have not found a body, contradicting earlier information from sources within the mayor's office who said charred remains had been found and had been identified as Dorner.
Bachman said authorities believe the suspect was still inside the cabin when the inferno began.
The hulking former lawman declared war on the LAPD in an online manifesto because he was fired four years ago. Accused of killing three people between Feb. 3 and Feb. 7, he was the target of the biggest manhunt in Los Angeles history.
A day of dramatic and tragic developments began after police received a report around 12:22 p.m. Tuesday that someone fitting Dorner's description had stolen a car from a home near the ski resort area of Big Bear, police said.
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