PHOENIX - The FBI says a man
shot and killed by police in Phoenix following an attempted bank robbery on Saturday is believed to be the same man responsible for killing one police officer and injuring another in Mississippi.
Authorities said that based on information from the investigation the man who died in Phoenix is the same person who attempted to rob a bank in Atlanta and in Tupelo, Miss., earlier this week.
Officer James Holmes with the Phoenix Police Department identified the victim Sunday afternoon as 40-year-old Mario Edward Garnett. Authorities have not been able to find a link between the victim and the City of Phoenix or the State of Arizona.
Holmes said officers do not how long the Garnett was in Arizona or Phoenix.
In a Sunday morning news conference held in Jackson, Miss., the FBI said the suspect's cell phone records indicated that he was in Atlanta, Miss., and Phoenix at the time each of the crimes occurred.
Authorities said that similarities, such as the suspect's clothing, object used to prop open doors and his "modus operandi" help authorities connect the suspect to each incident.
During the Mississippi robbery earlier this week, the suspect allegedly exchanged gunfire with two officers, injuring Officer Joseph Maher and killing Officer Gale Stauffer.
"While we are thankful that this dangerous individual is no longer a threat to the public, our thoughts and prayers remain with those officers and their families in Tupelo," said Ricky Maxwell, Acting Special Agent In Charge out of the FBI Atlantic Field Office in an emailed release.
The suspect in Saturday's Phoenix robbery entered the Compass Bank near 35th Avenue and Thomas wearing some sort of a mask, asked for a manager and displayed a .45 caliber pistol, said Holmes.
Authorities said that as the suspect fled the bank in Phoenix he was met by a Phoenix police officer and allegedly fired shots at the officer.
A nearby police detective who also responded to the scene shot and killed the suspect, according to police.