Nashville authorities are “aware” of the purported leak of portions of Covenant School shooter Audrey Elizabeth Hale’s highly anticipated “manifesto” found in the car where the killer gunned down three 9-year-olds and three adults in March.
In what appear to be crime scene photographs of the killer’s handwritten notes, the unverified documents would explain why police were quick to label the massacre “calculated and planned.”
“We are aware of that assertion,” a city police spokeswoman told Fox News Digital Monday. However, she said it was too early to confirm the documents’ authenticity and that authorities were investigating. Police later released a statement adding that “The photographs are not MNPD crime scene images.”
Nashville police have said they recovered documents in the 28-year-old Hale’s car after police killed the suspect on the school’s second floor. However, they have been fighting in court not to release the manifesto, and so has a group of parents from the school.
NASHVILLE KILLER AUDREY HALE SLEPT WITH JOURNALS ON SCHOOL SHOOTINGS UNDER BED, COURT DOCS REVEAL
The National Police Association is involved in a court battle with Nashville’s city and police department demanding the manifesto be made public. Officials there told Fox News Digital their case is still pending, and the documents did not come out in court.
“I think it highlights the importance of getting the information out as soon as possible,” said Doug Pierce, the Tennessee attorney representing the NPA in the case, who called the potential leak a “bombshell” but said he could not confirm the documents.
More information is expected to come out if he’s successful in court.
“What was requested would include more than just these three pages,” he told Fox News Digital.
The lawsuit has been slowed for months. Currently, an appeals court is expected to rule on whether Hale’s parents and the school have a right to intervene. There is no clear timeline for a decision on releasing the full manifesto.
“It could go on,” Pierce said. “This could be years before we get it all resolved.”
NASHVILLE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL SHOOTING TIMELINE: AUDREY HALE’S 14 MINUTES OF MAYHEM
Hale, who identified as a male named AIden, but who police describe as a transgender woman, kept more than 20 journals, court documents revealed earlier this year, and the three purportedly leaked pages would only represent a snippet of the killer’s writings.
In a statement, Nashville Mayor Freddie O’Connell said the city would launch its own investigation into the potential leak.
“I have directed Wally Dietz, Metro’s Law Director, to initiate an investigation into how these images could have been released,” he said. “That investigation may involve local, state, and federal authorities. I am deeply concerned with the safety, security, and well-being of the Covenant families and all Nashvillians who are grieving.”
His office told Fox News Digital that it did not possess the documents and could not confirm their veracity.
The FBI, which had been given copies to analyze earlier this year, declined to comment, citing the pending lawsuit.
WATCH: Nashville police bodycam shows officers arrive at the Covenant School
In addition to the manifesto, Hale made hand-drawn maps and diagrams of the school, with possible entry points and illustrations showing a shooter wearing the same outfit worn during the murders, police said.
Police previously released surveillance video showing the heroics of responding officers as they stormed the building and neutralized Hale in front of a second-story window, where the killer was actively shooting from.
NASHVILLE SCHOOL SHOOTER AUDREY HALE: WHO IS 28-YEAR-OLD TRANSGENDER FORMER STUDENT WHO OPENED FIRE AT SCHOOL
According to its website, the Covenant School opened in 2001 as part of the Covenant Presbyterian Church and served children from Pre-K through sixth grade.
The child victims included the pastor’s daughter, Hallie Scruggs, as well as Evelyn Dieckhaus and William Kinney. Police identified the adults as 60-year-old Head of School Katherine Koonce, Cynthia Peak, 61, and Mike Hill, 61.
AUDREY HALE POLICE BODYCAMS RELEASED
Court records suggested Hale had no criminal history in Metro Nashville or Davidson County.
Investigators served a search warrant at Hale’s home about three miles away from the church and school.
The killer slept with journals on other school shootings under her bed in her parents’ house. Police seized the journals and a trove of documents and electronic devices, court filings reveal. Hale also left behind a suicide note on a desk under one of several laptops police recovered near a list of passwords in the bedroom.
Hale was an artist who attended the Nossi College of Art and Design.
The killer was also seeing a doctor due to an emotional disorder and had legally purchased the seven guns from five stores leading up to the attack, police said.
Hale’s parents were unaware that the school shooter owned any guns after purportedly selling the single one they knew about, Chief John Drake said in March.
“They were under the impression that when she sold the weapon, she did not own anymore,” he said. “As it turned out she was hiding several weapons inside the house.”
However, Hale arrived around 10:15 a.m. on Monday with three guns, blasted out a side door and went on a rampage inside.
When Hale burst in, the first victim, Hill, sustained fatal gunshot wounds in the process. According to city officials, Koonce heard the first shots while on a Zoom call, hung up and confronted the attacker. Police found her dead in the hallway outside her office.
Drake said investigators had not immediately determined a motive but that they believed Hale, a former student, had targeted the school and its affiliated church.
Before 10:30 a.m., responding officers had fatally shot the killer on the second floor.
Source: Fox News