The account, contained in an Aug. 7 report from Newport, R.I., police, adds to the picture that has emerged of an agitated and erratic figure whose behavior and mental state had repeatedly come to authorities' attention but didn't seem to affect his security clearance.
Alexis, a 34-year-old information technology employee at a defense-related computer company, used a valid pass Monday to get into the Navy Yard and then killed 12 people before he was slain by police in a shootout that lasted more than a half-hour.
A day after the assault, the motive was still a mystery. U.S. law enforcement officials told The Associated Press that investigators had found no manifesto or other writings suggesting a political or religious motivation.
Alexis, a former Navy reservist, had been undergoing mental health treatment from the Department of Veterans Affairs since August but was not stripped of his security clearance, according to the law enforcement officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the criminal investigation was still going on.
He had been suffering from a host of serious mental problems, including paranoia and a sleep disorder, and had been hearing voices in his head, the officials said.
The assault is raising more questions about the adequacy of the background checks done on contract employees who hold security clearances — an issue that came up recently with National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden.
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus ordered two security reviews Tuesday of how well the Navy protects its bases and how accurately it screens its workers.
Similarly, President Barack Obama has ordered the White House budget office to examine security standards for government contractors and employees across federal agencies.
Mert Miller, associate director of Federal Investigative Services for the Office of Personnel Management, said in a statement that federal budget, personnel and intelligence officials were working to "review the oversight, nature and implementation of security and suitability standards for federal employees and contractors."
In general, he said, background security clearance investigations cover information about an individual's criminal history.
In addition, the House and Senate Veterans' Affairs Committees asked the VA for details about any treatment provided to Alexis.
At the U.S. Navy Memorial, in church and on the baseball field, the nation's capital paused to mourn the victims on Tuesday. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel laid a wreath at the memorial's "Lone Sailor" statue as taps played.
Just a few blocks from the Navy Yard, the Washington Nationals were back to playing baseball after their Monday night game with the Atlanta Braves was postponed because of the shooting. The Nationals wore blue and gold Navy caps during warm-ups, and a moment of silence was held before the first pitch.
Those killed included: Michael Arnold, 59, a Navy veteran and avid pilot who was building a light airplane at home; Sylvia Frasier, 53, who worked in computer security; Frank Kohler, 50, a former Rotary Club president in Lexington Park, Md., who proudly reigned as "King Oyster" at the annual seafood festival; and marine engineer and naval architect Vishnu Pandit, 61, an Indian immigrant.
In the Newport, R.I., incident, Alexis told police he got into an argument with someone as he was getting on a flight from Virginia to Rhode Island, where he was working as a naval contractor, and he said the person sent three people to follow and harass him.
He said he heard voices talking to him through a wall while at one hotel, so he changed hotels twice, but the voices followed him, according to the report. He said he feared they might harm him.
He also "stated that the individuals are using 'some sort of microwave machine' to send vibrations through the ceiling, penetrating his body so he cannot fall asleep."
Later that day, Newport police alerted the Rhode Island naval station and sent a copy of the police report, Newport police Lt. William Fitzgerald said Tuesday.
A spokeswoman for the station had no comment Tuesday.
Alexis came to the Washington area about two weeks later and had been staying at hotels. On Saturday, two days before the attack, he went to a Virginia gun store about 15 miles from the Navy Yard.
He rented a rifle, bought bullets and took target practice at Sharpshooters Small Arms Range, the store's attorney Michael Slocum said. Alexis then bought a shotgun and 24 shells, according to Slocum.
The FBI said during Monday's attack Alexis was armed with a shotgun. Officials said he also took a handgun from a law officer.
A recording of an emergency transmission released Tuesday captures the tense moments after the shooting. A firefighter tells a dispatcher as sirens wail in the background, "We have active shooter on the fourth floor. I'll get you update on the building location, with several victims down. At this time I've requested the mass casualty bus."
In addition to those killed at the Navy Yard attack, eight people were hurt, including three who were shot and wounded, authorities said. Those three were a police officer and two female civilians. They were all expected to survive.
Alexis had run-ins with the law in 2004 and 2010 in Texas and Seattle after he was accused of firing a gun in anger. He was not prosecuted in either case.
And his bouts of insubordination, disorderly conduct and being absent from work without authorization prompted the Navy to grant him an early — but honorable — discharge in 2011 after nearly four years as a full-time reservist, authorities said.
"He wasn't a stellar sailor," Navy spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby told CNN. "We know that."
But he said the offenses weren't "grievously serious" and the punishments for them are fairly mild. Kirby said there was a proposal to "administratively separate him from the Navy," with less than an honorable discharge, but Alexis volunteered to leave early and received an honorable discharge.
"Looking at his offenses while he was in the Navy, that the offenses while he was in uniform, uh, none of those give you an indication that he was capable of this sort of brutal, vicious violence," Kirby said.
As for Alexis' security clearance, Kirby said he received one around the time he enlisted. "It was good for 10 years. And it was at the secret level. So the security clearance was valid when he left the Navy in 2011. And because he wasn't out of work very long before he took this next job, the security clearance went with him."
Alexis joined the Florida-based IT consulting firm The Experts in September 2012, leaving a few months later to return to school. He came back in June to do part-time work at the Washington Navy Yard as a subcontractor, helping the military update computer systems.
The Experts' CEO, Thomas Hoshko, said that Alexis had "no personal issues," and he confirmed that Alexis had been granted a "secret" clearance by the Defense Security Service five years ago.
Alexis' clearance — lower than "top secret" — doesn't need to be renewed for 10 years. Still, the company said it hired outside vendors twice to check Alexis' criminal history.
Said Hoshko: Alexis' background check "came back clear."
Associated Press writers Pauline Jelinek, Matt Apuzzo, Adam Goldman, Jesse Holland, Stacy A. Anderson, Brian Witte and Ben Nuckols in Washington contributed to this report.
LYONS, Colo. (AP) — As water recedes and flows east onto the Colorado plains — revealing toppled homes, buckled highways and fields of tangled debris — rescuers are shifting their focus from emergency airlifts to trying to find the hundreds of people still unaccounted for after last week's devastating flooding.
Federal and state emergency officials, taking advantage of sunny skies, said more than 3,000 people have been evacuated by air and ground, but calls for those emergency rescues have decreased.
"They've kind of transitioned from that initial response to going into more of a grid search," Colorado National Guard Lt. Skye Robinson said.
In one of those searches Tuesday, Sgt. 1st Class Keith Bart and Staff Sgt. Jose Pantoja leaned out the window of a Blackhawk helicopter, giving the thumbs-up sign to people on the ground while flying outside of hard-hit Jamestown.
Most waved back and continued shoveling debris. But then Bart spotted two women waving red scarves, and the helicopter descended.
Pantoja attached his harness to the helicopter's winch and was lowered to the ground. He clipped the women in, and they laughed as they were hoisted into the Blackhawk.
After dropping off the women at the Boulder airport, the Blackhawk was back in the air less than a minute later to resume the search.
The state's latest count has dropped to about 580 people missing, and the number continues to decrease as the stranded get in touch with families.
One of the missing is Gerald Boland, a retired math teacher and basketball coach who lives in the damaged town of Lyons. Boland's neighbors, all of whom defied a mandatory evacuation order, said Boland took his wife to safety Thursday then tried to return home.
Two search teams went looking for him Monday.
"He was very sensible. I find it amazing that he would do something that would put himself in harm's way," said neighbor Mike Lennard. "But you just never know under these circumstances."
State officials reported six flood-related deaths, plus two women missing and presumed dead. The number was expected to increase. It could take weeks or even months to search through flooded areas looking for bodies.
With the airlifts tapering, state and local transportation officials are tallying the washed-out roads, collapsed bridges and twisted railroad lines. The rebuilding effort will cost hundreds of millions of dollars and take months, if not years.
Initial assessments have begun trickling in, but many areas remain inaccessible and the continuing emergency prevents a thorough understanding of the devastation's scope.
Northern Colorado's broad agricultural expanses are especially affected, with more than 400 lane-miles of state highway and more than 30 bridges destroyed or impassable.
A Colorado Department of Transportation helicopter crew has been surveying damage, said department spokesman Ashley Mohr.
County officials have started their own damage tallies: 654 miles of roads in Weld County bordering Wyoming, 150 miles of roads in the Boulder County roads foothills, along with hundreds of bridges, culverts and canals.
Dale Miller, road and bridge director for Larimer County, said it could compare to the damage wrought by a 1976 flood that killed 144 people. It took two years to rebuild after that disaster.
State officials have put initial estimates at more than 19,000 homes damaged or destroyed throughout the flooded areas.
TOMS RIVER, N.J. (AP) — Superstorm Sandy still isn't done with the Jersey shore — investigators are blaming the storm for damaging electrical wiring that touched off last week's devastating boardwalk fire in Seaside Park and Seaside Heights.
And they also said similar danger could be lurking elsewhere underneath other boardwalks, businesses or homes that were exposed to flood waters from the Oct. 29 storm.
"I'm sure on every boardwalk everywhere (at the Jersey shore), there may be compromised wiring," said Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato. "We don't want to start a panic mode; we just want to be reasonable. If you're a property owner and you think your electrical work came in contact with water and sand, we strongly recommend you have it inspected."
Gov. Chris Christie's administration decided the state will use Sandy-recovery money to pay for debris removal. He also pledged $15 million in Sandy money to help rebuild the burned businesses.
Christie said Tuesday the state will let businesses affected by the fire postpone filing sales and use tax returns that were due this month until Oct. 21 to help them recover.
The boardwalk fire began accidentally Thursday in aged wiring that had been compromised by salt water and sand during the Oct. 29 storm, federal and county investigators said at a news conference Tuesday. The wind-whipped blaze destroyed more than 50 businesses in the two towns.
Seaside Heights Mayor William Akers, reached after the briefing, said there is no issue with potentially compromised wiring on the surviving sections of the boardwalk.
"We did a total rebuild. All 16 blocks got all new wiring," he said.
In Point Pleasant Beach, one of the approximately half-dozen Sandy-ravaged towns where businesses with electrical connections are located on the boardwalk, Mayor Vincent Barrella said streetlight wiring is all new in a section of the boardwalk that was rebuilt last winter.
But he said about half the boardwalk, including sections in front of businesses, still needs to be redone this winter. After the prosecutor issued his warning, Barrella said he instructed borough officials to work with the local electric company and identify any wiring that might need to be replaced as part of the upcoming work.
Flood-damaged wiring caused fires in several houses in Sandy-damaged communities once power was turned back on last November. Many homeowners had to replace their electrical wiring and main electrical boxes before moving back in.
Investigators said last week's fire began in wiring that dated to the 1970s, and was located under a Kohr's frozen custard stand and the Biscayne Candies shop last Thursday afternoon.
Jessica Gotthold, a senior special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said investigators located wires under the boardwalk that somehow came in contact with each other, causing an electrical arc that is believed to have started the fire. Coronato said those wires had been exposed to the storm surge and grating sand action of the storm, which compromised them.
But as far as why the wires contacted each other, he said, "we will never know."
The prosecutor said the investigation ruled out all other possible causes of the fire, including careless smoking or a deliberate act of arson. The wiring was inaccessible to the public, he noted.
Authorities even pulled financial records of the businesses involved in the blaze to make sure no one had a financial motive to start a fire.
"We left no stone unturned," he said. "This was not a suspicious fire."