Nov. 7 (UPI) -- The Texas man accused of killing 26 people at a small-town church Sunday escaped from a psychiatric hospital in New Mexico in 2012, a police report indicates.
A report from the El Paso, Texas, Police Department said officers picked up Devin Kelley on June 7, 2012, at a bus station after he escaped from Peak Behavioral Health Services in Santa Teresa, N.M. Military officials sent him to the center after he was charged with assaulting his wife and stepson.
A witness told police that Kelley, who was 21 years old at the time, "was a danger to himself and others as he had already been caught sneaking firearms onto Holloman Air Force base."
The witness said Kelley "was attempting to carry out death threats" against his superiors in the military.
El Paso officers released Kelley to officers in Sunland Park, N.M., across the state line. The report says the department submitted an entry to the FBI's National Crime Information Center database, which is checked when a person tries to purchase a firearm.
Earlier Tuesday, FBI special agent in charge of the San Antonio division Christopher Combs said the bureau has been unable to gain access to Kelley's cellphone in order to collect evidence.
"It actually highlights an issue that you've all heard about before, with the advance of the technology and the phones and the encryption, law enforcement--whether that's at the state local or federal level--is increasingly not able to get into these phones," he told the San Antonio-News.
He said the FBI sent the phone to its facility in Quantico, Va., for evaluation.
Two years ago, the bureau battled with Apple in its attempt to unlock an iPhone belonging to the attacks in the San Bernardino, Calif., shooting that killed 14 people in December 2015. Apple refused to comply with a judge's order to unlock the phone citing privacy concerns.
The FBI ended up paying $1 million for a tool to hack the iPhone 5C.
Freeman Martin of the Texas Department of Public Safety said investigators hope to learn more about Kelley's motives from information on his phone.
House Speaker Paul Ryan said Kelley should have been stopped by existing laws.
Kelley was court-martialed in 2012 while in the U.S. Air Force for domestic abuse against his wife and stepson, and later received a bad conduct discharge. Monday, the Air Force said it was investigating why Kelley's discharge wasn't properly entered into a database used for background checks on gun purchases.
"How about enforcing the laws we've got on the books?" Ryan said Tuesday. "This man should not have gotten a gun. You know why? Because he was a domestic abuser.
"We have laws on the books that says if you are a domestic abuser, you are not supposed to own a gun. How did this slip through the cracks? ... Because the laws we have right now on the books say a person like this should not have gotten a gun."
More details emerged Tuesday about Kelley's time inside the church Sunday. Officials said he was inside the sanctuary long enough to walk freely up and down the aisle, shooting parishioners as they huddled on the ground.
One witness said he shot people who tried to run out of the church, others as they laid on the ground, already injured.
Authorities said Monday that Kelley was found in his vehicle with three gunshot wounds, one self-inflicted, after the attack on the church.
Martin said Monday that Kelley was shot twice, in the leg and torso, in a gunfight with local resident Stephen Willeford -- and once in the head from his own weapon.
Investigators said they found hundreds of empty shell casings and 15 empty ammunition magazines at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, a town of about 400 residents near San Antonio.
Ten of the injured remain hospitalized Tuesday.
In an interview with KHBS-TV, Willeford said he emerged barefoot and armed from his nearby home when his daughter told him about a black-clad man shooting at the church.
"I kept hearing the shots, one after another, very rapid shots. Just 'pop pop pop pop' and I knew every one of those shots represented someone, that it was aimed at someone, that they weren't just random shots," Willeford told the Arkansas TV station.
Willeford said he was the first to exchange gunfire with Kelley and chase him, with another man, before police arrived.
Officials said they believe the injured Kelley shot himself while in his vehicle.
Those who died in the shooting at the church represent about 4 percent of Sutherland Springs' entire population, Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt said.
"We are with you, Texas," Pence tweeted.