Nova Scotia RCMP says they were in the midst of preparing an emergency alert when the gunman in last weekend’s mass shooting was killed by police.

In a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Chief Superintendent Chris Leather says there was discussion Sunday morning about how the message would be “constructed and what it would say” when police found out the suspect was dead.  Leather says RCMP in Nova Scotia usually uses Twitter to alert the public about police activities and that’s what was done in this case. He says police were initially called out to a home in Portapique at 10:26 p.m. Saturday and they sent out a tweet telling residents to stay in their homes.

Leather says there were initially two perimeters set up by police in the area and it wasn’t until early Sunday morning that they learned the suspect had fled the scene.

Police say the suspect acted alone in the 12-hour shooting spree and they are investigating whether he had help leading up to it.

They learned about the suspect wearing an RCMP uniform and driving what appeared to be a police cruiser Sunday morning when they interviewed a key witness and Leather says they communicated those facts quickly after learning them.  They now know he was not licenced to possess a firearm in Canada.

Other provinces and the military have been called in to help with the investigation and a telephone tip line has been created to help gather information.

Leather adds police are very close, within a day or two, of releasing a detailed timeline of how the events unfolded between late Saturday night and Sunday.

**Written by Casey Kenny