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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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April 1st, 2013
06:37 PM ET

FBI looking into latest Texas D.A. killing

Investigators will not, or cannot yet say for sure what led to the murders of a Texas district attorney and his wife over the weekend. The chilling case, along with the murder of an assistant district attorney in the same county a couple months back, stirred fears that public officials in Texas are being targeted. Now state and local authorities are on high alert.

Who's next? That's the question gripping Kaufman County. Courthouse security has been beefed up in the Kaufman town square, and law enforcement officers say special security measures are being taken to protect other elected officials.

There seem to be few leads and no suspects in the hunt to find the killers of prosecutors Mark Hasse and Mike McLelland, the uncertainty of what might happen next is chilling.

"This, I think, is a clear concern to individuals who are in public life particularly those who deal with some very mean and vicious individuals, whether they're white supremacy groups, or whether they're the drug cartels that we have," said Texas Governor Rick Perry.

CNN spoke with several law enforcement analysts who have taken a closer look at all of the details about Hasse and McLelland's murders, and they all say the same thing - that they are struck by the simplicity of the attacks on the two men. Hasse was killed just around the corner as he was walking to work at the courthouse; McLelland killed inside his home. The crimes suggest the two men were followed, studied in some way, and killed in the areas they felt most at ease.

A lot of attention has focused on the Aryan Brotherhood prison gang. State police issued a warning four months ago that the white supremacist group was actively planning to retaliate against officials who had targeted the prison gang's leadership. But before he was killed, District Attorney Mike McLelland downplayed that angle in the murder investigation of his fellow prosecutor Mark Hasse.

In an email to WFAA-TV, McLelland said Hasse had received no threats from a prison gang and that is work on Aryan brotherhood cases was minimal.


Filed under: National Lead
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