Detectives admitted for the first time Saturday that they're pretty sure Evan Spencer Ebel, a Colorado parolee who was shot and killed in a shootout with Texas police on Thursday, is connected to the murder investigation of Colorado Department of Corrections chief Tom Clements.

Ebel was killed during a shootout with authorities in Texas on Thursday. Clements was killed at his home Tuesday evening. El Paso County sheriff's spokesman Lt. Jeff Kramer acknowledged for the first time Saturday that Ebel was a "strong, strong lead" in the investigation into Clement's murder. Among the mounting pile of evidence pointing to Ebel's involvement in the murder: the Denver Post reports authorities discovered the same brand and caliber gun in the car he used to exchange fire with Texas authorities as the one allegedly used to kill Clements. Detectives said they have not confirmed a link between Ebel and Clements just yet. But, well, the argument sort of makes itself. 

Reports that Ebel was a probable suspect leaded out Friday, but the El Paso County sheriff's department wouldn't confirm or deny whether they were looking at Ebel. The evidence seemed to stack up against him. Ebel was a recent parolee from the Colorado prison system, a member of the white supremacist prison gang, the 211s, and was driving a similar car to the one spotted near Clements home on the night of his murder when he was discovered. The theory was that the 28-year-old Ebel might have got word from a gang leader still serving time ordering him to murder Clements. On Thursday, Ebel exchanged fire with Texas authorities and led them on a 100 mph chase. Ultimately, he came up on the losing end of the stand off.