Although authorities have frequently analyzed and publicly released diatribes left behind by individuals who carry out acts of violence, the FBI has been tight-lipped in regard to the manifesto found after a shooter who identified as transgender left six victims dead last month at a private Christian school in Nashville, Tennessee.
In light of previous violent acts perpetrated by individuals in the trans community, U.S. Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN) is one of several public officials who have called for the manifesto to be released.
“Our trans youth are troubled,” Burchett said. “If they don’t get the help they need they can grow up to have some serious issues, but I obviously don’t believe they’ll all grow up to be shooters like this.”
Nevertheless, he stressed the importance of understanding “what was going through this person’s head” in calling for the manifesto to “be made public.”
According to Metro Nashville Council Member Courtney Johnston, however, it seems unlikely that local and federal authorities will ever release the document in its entirety.
“What I was told is, her manifesto was a blueprint on total destruction, and it was so, so detailed at the level of what she had planned,” Johnston said.
Echoing the assessment of law enforcement that it “would be astronomically dangerous” if this information landed in the wrong hands, she said: “I personally don’t want to know the depths to which her psychosis reached.”
Metro Nashville Police Department spokesperson Don Aaron addressed the status only by confirming that all material recovered as part of the investigation into the shooting remained “under analysis” by the FBI.
One source within the agency said that the contents of the manifesto “keeps him up at night,” Johnston said.
Rep. Andy Ogles (R-TN) has joined Burchett in calling for the release of the document, insisting that if it is not made public, “we need to investigate why.”
He has also called on Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate the shooting as a hate crime.
“Federal law is clear, acts of violence against individuals based on religious affiliation are hate crimes,” he wrote in a letter co-signed by Rep. Lance Gooden (R-TX).