Since the morning of Dec. 14 last year authorities have kept a tight lid on how much information was made public during the investigation into the Sandy Hook massacre. Thursday morning that will change. A court order to seal several documents related to the case is set to expire and when it does, the documents will be released. (Update: The documents are out, and here's what's inside.)
Thursday morning at 9:01 a.m., applications, affidavits and returns for five search warrants will be made public via email. Those search warrants cover both the home in Sandy Hook where alleged shooter Adam Lanza lived with his mother and the black Honda Civic police say Lanza left parked outside the school while he shot and killed 26 people, before taking his own life. Many media outlets are speculating these documents could answer some lingering questions about the second-deadliest school shooting in U.S. history, namely what Lanza's motive was for the massacre.
However, the search warrants will not be released to the public in full. Wednesday afternoon Connecticut Superior Court Judge John F. Blawie granted the state attorney's motion to redact several portions of the search warrants, a witness name, a credit card number, telephone numbers and several paragraphs from one particular document.
Authorities have already told us they believe Lanza shot his 52-year-old mother Nancy -- who, contrary to initial reports, did not have any connection to Sandy Hook Elementary -- then drove to the school where he killed 20 first-graders and six teachers, as well as injuring two other teachers, then killed himself. We have already learned that all the weapons used during the attack were legally owned by Nancy Lanza, that Adam Lanza was fascinated with other mass killers and that he liked to play video games, many of them violent. Much has been made of Lanza's mental state and that he may or may not have fallen somewhere on the autism spectrum.
All of this is to say, we may learn a great deal from the documents released Thursday morning or we may not. But the question remains, will anything we learn make us feel any better about what happened that morning?
Chances are search warrant documents will not give the public a clear picture of why Lanza allegedly killed 27 people that morning. In fact, Lt. Paul Vance, spokesman for the Connecticut State Police, told NBC News last month that investigators "are a long way" from determining Lanza's motive.
But even if we someday learn exactly what drove Lanza to kill, it probably won't take away any of the pain associated with the Sandy Hook massacre and it certainly won't keep it from ever happening again. Recent setbacks have seen Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid removing the assault weapons ban from proposed gun legislation and the NRA and Vice President Biden's gun control task force failing to see eye-to-eye; an agreement could have secured more support for legislation aimed at keeping schools safe from both sides of the aisle. The way to heal and to move on is to prevent such a tragedy from happening again.