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Authorities review video of church attack

Profile image for Jim Vertuno and Emily Schmall
Jim Vertuno and Emily Schmall, Associated Press

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS -- Authorities have reviewed video from inside the small-town Texas church where a gunman killed more than two dozen people, including footage that shows the assailant shooting victims in the head during Sunday services, a U.S. official said Wednesday.

The official's account of the video is consistent with statements made by survivors of the attack. The official was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.

The same U.S. official confirmed that the attacker's cellphone was an iPhone and that the FBI had not yet asked Apple for help obtaining data from the device.

The church regularly recorded its services, and the footage investigators have seen shows several minutes of the attack because there was "no one to turn it off," according to a law enforcement official who has seen the video. The official also spoke on condition of anonymity because that person was not authorized to speak publicly about an ongoing investigation.

The law enforcement official was among those who went inside the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs after the attack and said several of the pews were overturned, although it was unclear if that was from the attack or from rescue efforts. Bullets had splintered the walls and pews, leaving shards of wood all over the floors.

Vice President Mike Pence arrived in Texas on Wednesday, visiting wounded victims at a San Antonio hospital and later meeting families of the dead in Floresville, not far from Sutherland Springs.

Pence went from table to table at a high school library attempting to console devastated family members.

"The whole country is praying over you," he told one man who lost his sister-in-law.

He stopped to talk with John Holcombe, whose family was decimated by the shooting. Holcombe, who suffered shrapnel wounds, lost his wife Crystal -- who was pregnant with their first child -- three of her children, his parents, a brother and a toddler niece.

Pence hugged 7-year-old Evelyn Holcombe, who managed to survive by running out of the church during the attack.

FEATURED PHOTO: Joaquin Ramirez checks on the gunshot wound on Rosanne Solis' left arm at their home in Sutherland Springs on Tuesday. The two survived Sunday's mass shooting at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs. (Jay Janner/AP)