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PHOTOS: El Paso Walmart shooting

Law enforcement officials block a road at the scene of a mass shooting at a shopping complex Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (Photo: John Locher/AP)

The shooting that killed 22 people at a crowded El Paso department store will be handled as a domestic terrorism case, federal authorities said Sunday as they weighed hate-crime charges against the suspected gunman that could carry the death penalty.

A local prosecutor announced that he would file capital murder charges, declaring that the alleged assailant had "lost the right to be among us."

The attack on Saturday was followed less than a day later by another shooting that claimed nine lives in a nightlife district of Dayton, Ohio. That shooter was killed by police. Together the two assaults wounded more than 50 people, some of them critically, and shocked even a nation that has grown accustomed to regular spasms of gun violence.

Investigators focused on whether the El Paso attack was a hate crime after the emergence of a racist, anti-immigrant screed that was posted online shortly beforehand. Detectives sought to determine if it was written by the man who was arrested. The border city has figured prominently in the immigration debate and is home to 680,000 people, most of them Latino.

Using a rifle, the El Paso gunman opened fire on shoppers during the busy back-to-school season.

The attack targeted a Walmart and did not spread to other nearby shopping areas, El Paso police Sgt. Robert Gomez said.

Most victims were inside the store. By Sunday evening, all bodies had been removed from the store and the parking lot, police said, but no names or ages were released.

Despite initial reports of possible multiple gunmen, the man in custody was believed to be the only shooter, police said.

Law enforcement officials identified him as 21-year-old Patrick Crusius from Allen, a Dallas suburb which is a nearly 10-hour drive from El Paso. He was arrested without police firing any shots and was jailed without bond, authorities said. (AP)

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From left, Melody Stout, Hannah Payan, Aaliyah Alba, Sherie Gramlich and Laura Barrios comfort each other during a vigil for victims of the shooting Aug. 3, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. A young gunman opened fire in an El Paso, Texas, shopping area during the busy back-to-school season, leaving multiple people dead and more than two dozen injured. (Photo: John Locher/AP)
Shoppers exit with their hands up after a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, U.S. August 3, 2019. (Photo: Jorge Salgado/Reuters)
A police cordon is seen after a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, Aug. 3, 2019. (Photos: Jose Luis Gonzalez/AP)
Law enforcement officials block a road at the scene of a mass shooting at a shopping complex Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (Photo: John Locher/AP)
A man reacts outside MacArthur Elementary-Intermediate School after police gave information about the victims of the mass shooting at a Walmart store, in El Paso, Texas, Aug. 4, 2019. (Photo: Jose Luis Gonzalez/Reuters)
Police officers are seen inside the Cielo Vista mall after an active shooter entered the store and opened fire on in El Paso, Aug. 3, 2019 in this still image taken from social media video. (Photo: Raymond Espinoza/Reuters)
Law enforcement agencies respond to an active shooter at a Wal-Mart near Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso, Texas, Aug. 3, 2019. (Photo: Joel Angel Juarez/AFP/Getty Images)
Individuals that were evacuated sit in a parking lot across from a Wal-Mart where a shooting occurred at Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019. (Photo: Joel Angel Juarez/AFP/Getty Images)
Law enforcement agencies cover the exits of a Wal-Mart where a shooting occurred near Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso, Texas, on August 3, 2019. (Photo: Joel Angel Juarez/AFP/Getty Images)
Law enforcement from different agencies work the scene of a shooting at a shopping mall in El Paso, Texas, on Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019. (Photo: Rudy Gutierrez/AP)
Law enforcement agencies respond to an active shooter at a Wal-Mart near Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019. (Photo: Joel Angel Juarez/AFP/Getty Images)
Shoppers exit with their hands up after a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, August 3, 2019. (Photo: Jorge Salgado/Reuters)
Law enforcement agencies respond to an active shooter at a Wal-Mart near Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019. (Photo: Joel Angel Juarez/AFP/Getty Images)
Law enforcement agencies respond to an active shooter at a Wal-Mart near Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019. (Photo: Joel Angel Juarez/AFP/Getty Images)
El Paso Police Department Sgt. Enrique Carillo briefs media on a shooting that occurred at a Wal-Mart near Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso, Texas, on August 3, 2019. (Photo: Joel Angel Juarez/AFP/Getty Images)
A Customs and Border Protection helicopter flies over the scene of a shooting that occurred at a Wal-Mart near Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019. (Photo: Joel Angel Juarez/AFP/Getty Images)
Law enforcement agencies respond to an active shooter at a Wal-Mart near Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019. (Photo: Joel Angel Juarez/AFP/Getty Images)
Law enforcement agencies cover the exits of a Wal-Mart where a shooting occurred near Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019. (Photo: Joel Angel Juarez/AFP/Getty Images)
Law enforcement agencies respond to an active shooter at a Wal-Mart near Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019. (Photo: Joel Angel Juarez/AFP/Getty Images)
El Paso Police Department Sgt. Robert Gomez briefs media on a shooting that occurred at a Wal-Mart near Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso, Texas, on August 3, 2019. (Photo: Joel Angel Juarez/AFP/Getty Images)

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