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The incident, in which the death toll rose almost hourly, represents the single worst loss of life in the District since an airliner plunged into the Potomac River in 1982, killing 78.
D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier and Mayor Vincent C. Gray announced the mounting number of casualties in a series of news conferences. The suspected shooter, identified by the FBI as Aaron Alexis, 34, living in Fort Worth, is among the 13 dead. Alexis was a military contractor, one official said.
But even hours after the rampage began, it was still unclear whether the shooting was the act of a lone gunman, or if other shooters were involved. Lanier initially said authorities were looking for two more potential shooters dressed in military style clothing. But shortly after she announced a detailed description of two suspects, city officials said one had been located and cleared.
Lanier described the other possible suspect, who has not been located, as a black man in his 40s with gray sideburns, wearing an olive-drab military-style uniform. He, and the man who was cleared, came under suspicion when they were seen on surveillance videos.
Police are asking anyone with information on the suspect to call 202-727-9099. Gray said no motive is known yet. He said there is no reason to believe it was an act of terrorism, though he added that he could not rule it out.
Gray said that in addition to those killed, about a dozen people were hurt. Later in the evening Vice Adm. Bill French said the number of injured was 14.
It was not clear whether those people were shot or suffered other injuries.
Pentagon officials said the Navy will wait 24 hours before releasing the names of people killed in the attack. As of 8:30 p.m. Monday, Navy officials said about 2,000 people remained on base, and that it could take another 3-4 hours before everyone was cleared to leave.
The FBI was still interviewing every person leaving the base out of concern that a second suspect may still be at large, French said. And SWAT teams are still finding people hiding in places on the base, where some had remained hunkered down since the initial attack early Monday morning. One city officials said that shortly before 7 p.m., officers found an employee hiding in a locker, where the employee had been for nearly 11 hours.
Throughout the day, people had been warned to stay in their homes and offices on the Naval Base as the incident unfolded. Alexis was armed with an assault rifle and a handgun, two law enforcement officials said. One said he also had a shotgun. One official said all the weapons have not been accounted for.
The first, sketchy details about the suspect offered few hints about what may have gone wrong.