An investigative team had assembled before noon. Kate Battan (rhymes with Latin) was named lead investigator. Battan already knew who her primary suspects were. Most of the students were perplexed about who was attacking them, but quite a few had recognized the gunmen. Two names had been repeated over and over. Battan quickly compiled dossiers on Eric and Dylan in the command post trailer in Clement Park. She dispatched teams to secure their homes. Detectives arrived at the Harris place at 1:15, just as the third SWAT team burst into the Columbine teachers' lounge. Eric's parents had gotten word and were already home. The cops found them uncooperative. They tried to refuse entrance. The cops insisted. Kathy Harris got scared when they headed for the basement. "I don't want you going down there!" she said. They said they were securing the residence and removing everyone. Wayne said he doubted Eric was involved, but would help if there was an active situation. Kathy's twin sister was with her. Wayne and Kathy were concerned about the repercussions, she explained; parents of the victims might retaliate. The cops smelled gas; they had the utility company shut off power, then resumed the search. In Eric's room they found a sawed-off shotgun barrel on a bookshelf, unspent ammunition on the bed, fingertips cut off gloves on the floor, and fireworks and bomb materials on the desk, the dresser, the windowsill, and the wall, among other places. Elsewhere they discovered a page from The Anarchist Cookbook, packaging for a new gas can, and scattered glass shards on a slab in the backyard. An evidence specialist arrived that night and spent four hours, shooting seven rolls of film. He left at 1:00 A.M. The Klebolds were much more forthcoming. A police report described Tom as "very communicative." He gave a full account of Dylan's past and laid out all his friendships. Dylan had been in good spirits, Tom said. Sue described him as extremely happy. Tom was anti-gun and Dylan agreed with him on that--they wouldn't find any guns or explosives in the house, that was for sure, Tom said. The cops did find pipe bombs. Tom was shocked. Dylan was fine, he insisted. He and Dylan were close. He would have known it if anything was up. The first FBI agent on the scene at Columbine was Supervisory Special Agent Dwayne Fuselier. He had shaken the Cajun accent, on everything but his name. FUSE-uh-lay, he said. Everyone got it wrong. He was a veteran agent, a clinical psychologist, a terrorism expert, and one of the leading hostage negotiators in the country. None of that led Dr. Fuselier to Columbine High. His wife had called. Their son was in the school. Fuselier got the call in the cafeteria of Denver's Rogers Federal Building, a downtown high-rise thirty minutes away. He was sipping a bowl of bland soup---lowsalt, for his hypertension. The bowl stayed on the table. When he got to his Dodge Intrepid, Fuselier swiped his arm under the seat, groping for the portable police light. He hadn't pulled it out in years. Fuselier headed toward the foothills. He would offer his services as a hostage negotiator, or anything else they might need. He wasn't sure how his offer would be received. Cops in crisis tend to be thrilled to have a trained negotiator but wary of the Feds. Hardly anyone likes the FBI. Fuselier didn't blame them. Federal agents generally have a high opinion of themselves. Few try to conceal it. Fuselier didn't look like a Fed, or sound the part. He was a shrink turned hostage negotiator turned detective, with an abridged version of the complete works of Shakespeare in the back seat of his car. He didn't talk past the local cops, roll his eyes, or humor them. There was no swagger in his shoulders or his speech. He could be a little stoic. Hugging his sons felt awkward but he would reach out to embrace survivors when they needed it. Smiling came easy. His jokes were frequently at his own expense. He genuinely liked local cops and appreciated what they had to offer. They liked him. A stint on the domestic terrorism task force for the region proved fortuitous. It was a joint operation between local agencies and the FBI. Fuselier led the unit, and a senior Jeffco detective worked on his team. The detective was one of Fuselier's first calls. He was relieved to hear that Dwayne was on his way and offered to introduce him to the commanders on arrival. The detective brought Fuselier up to speed before he arrived at the school. There were reports of six or eight gunmen in black masks and military gear shooting everyone. He assumed it was a terrorist attack. It took a certain voice to talk down a gunman. Agent Fuselier was always gentle and reassuring. No matter how erratic the subject's behavior, Fuselier always responded calmly. He exuded tranquillity, offered a way out. He trained negotiators to read a subject quickly, to size up his primary motivations. Was the gunman driven by anger, fear, or resentment? Was he on a power trip? Was the assault meant to feed his ego, or was he caught up in events beyond his control? Getting the gun down was primarily a matter of listening. The first thing Fuselier taught negotiators was to classify the situation as hostage or nonhostage. To laymen, humans at gunpoint equaled hostages. Not so. An FBI field manual citing Fuselier's research spelled out the crucial distinction: hostages are a means to fulfill demands. "The primary goal is not to harm the hostages," the manual said. "In fact, hostage takers realize that only through keeping the hostages alive can they hope to achieve their goals." They act rationally. Nonhostage gunmen do not. The humans mean nothing to them. "[These] individuals act in an emotional, senseless, and often-self-destructive way." They typically issue no demands. "What they want is what they already have, the victim. The potential for homicide followed by suicide in many of these cases is very high." Jeffco officials had labeled Columbine a hostage standoff. Every media outlet was reporting it that way. Dr. Fuselier considered the chances of that remote. What he was driving toward was much worse. To the FBI, the nonhostage distinction is critical. The Bureau recommends radically different strategies in those cases--essentially, the opposite approach. With hostages, negotiators remain highly visible, make the gunmen work for everything, and firmly establish that the police are in control. In nonhostage situations, they keep a low profile, "give a little without getting in return" (for example, offering cigarettes to build rapport), and avoid even a slight implication that anyone but the gunman is in control. The goal with hostages is to gradually lower expectations; in nonhostage crises, it's to lower emotions. One of the first things Fuselier did when he arrived was organize a negotiation team. He found local officers he had trained, and fellow FBI negotiators responded as well. A neighboring county loaned them a section of its mobile command post, already on scene. The 911 operators were instructed to put through to the team all calls from kids inside the building. Anything they could learn about the gunmen might be useful. They passed on logistical information they gathered to the tactical teams. The team was confident they could talk the gunmen down. All they needed was someone to speak to. Fuselier shuttled between the negotiation center and the Jeffco command post, coordinating the federal response. When things calmed down momentarily, Fuselier pitched in questioning students who had just escaped the school. He walked over to the triage unit and flipped through the logs. They had evaluated hundreds of kids. He scanned for kids he knew from the neighborhood or the boys' soccer teams. Everyone he recognized said "evaluated and released." He called their parents as soon as he got a break. His son's name never came up. Agent Fuselier was grateful to have his hands full. "I had work to do," he said later. "I compartmentalized. Focusing on that kept me from wondering about Brian." Mimi checked in regularly, so Dwayne didn't have to. She had gotten to Leawood, and she had seen a lot of kids. No one had spotted Brian; no one had heard a word. ____ An attack of this magnitude suggested a large conspiracy. Everyone, including detectives, assumed a substantial number were involved. The first break in the presumed conspiracy seemed to come early. The killers' good friend Chris Morris reported himself to 911. He had seen the news on TV while he was home playing Nintendo with another friend. At first he was worried about his girlfriend. And his Nintendo buddy's dad was a science teacher in the building. The two boys hopped in the car and raced around, trying to find Chris's girlfriend. They kept running into police barricades and collecting scraps of information along the way. When he heard about the trench coats, Chris got scared. He knew Eric and Dylan had guns. He knew they had been messing with pipe bombs. For this? Chris called 911. He got disconnected. It took a few tries, but he told his story and the dispatcher sent a patrol car by the house. The cops questioned him briefly, then decided to drive him out to the main team in Clement Park. There was a lot of confusion. Who was this kid? "Chris Harris?" a detective asked. Pretty soon he was surrounded by detectives. Cameramen noticed. TV crews came running. Chris looked the part: squishy features, nerdy, and overwhelmed. He had rosy cheeks, wire-rimmed glasses, and mussy light brown hair just past his ears. The cops cuffed him fast and got him into the back of a patrol car. By now, many of the killers' buddies suspected them. It was a scary time to be Eric's or Dylan's friend. ____ From the outset, before they even had names or identities for the gunmen, TV reporters depicted the boys as a single entity. "Were they loners?" reporters kept asking witnesses. "Were they outcasts?" Always they. And always the attributes fitting the school shooter profile--itself a myth. The witnesses nearly always concurred. Few knew the killers, but they did not volunteer that information, and they were not asked. Yeah, outcasts, I heard they were. Fuselier arrived at Columbine with one assumption: multiple gunmen demanded multiple tactics. Fuselier couldn't afford to think of his adversaries as a unit. Strategies likely to disarm one shooter could infuriate the other. Mass murderers tended to work alone, but when they did pair up, they rarely chose their mirror image. Fuselier knew he was much more likely to find a pair of opposites holed up in that building. It was entirely possible that there was no single why--and much more likely that he would unravel one motive for Eric, another for Dylan. Reporters quickly keyed on the darker force behind the attack: this spooky Trench Coat Mafia. It grew more bizarre by the minute. In the first two hours, witnesses on CNN described the TCM as Goths, gays, outcasts, and a street gang. "A lot of the time they'll, like, wear makeup and paint their nails and stuff," a Columbine senior said. "They're kind of--I don't know, like Goth, sort of, like, and they're, like, associated with death and violence a lot." None of that would prove to be true. That student did not, in fact, know the people he was describing. But the story grew.