(NBC News) New details are emerging in the wake of Sunday’s Pulse nightclub massacre.
Investigators say it began near the front door of the gay nightclub with a gun battle between suspect Omar Mateen and an off-duty Orlando police officer working security.
“Additional officers made entry while the suspect was shooting, engaged in another gun battle with the suspect, and forced him to stop shooting and retreat to the bathroom,” said Orlando Police Chief John Mina.
That was the start of a three hour standoff, and a dialogue between Mateen and police.
Hours later, investigators say the tone of the conversations intensified and Mateen a bomb vest. SWAT team members moved in, using explosives and heavy equipment to tear a hole in the wall of the club.
Teams are still working through a detailed analysis of the crime scene, and the difficult task of notifying family members of the victims continue as well.
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