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Coroner releases body of Navy Yard gunman Aaron Alexis

Aaron Alexis moves through the hallways of Building #197 carrying a Remington 870 shotgun in this undated handout photo released by the FBI.
Aaron Alexis moves through the hallways of Building #197 carrying a Remington 870 shotgun in this undated handout photo released by the FBI.

By Dan Whitcomb

(Reuters) - An autopsy has been completed on the body of Navy Yard gunman Aaron Alexis and his remains have been released, a spokeswoman for the Chief Medical Examiner's Office of Washington, D.C., said on Thursday.

The spokeswoman declined to release the results of the autopsy and would not say who had claimed the body of Alexis, the gunman who went on a shooting spree September at the Navy Yard in Washington and killed 12 people.

Authorities have said that the 34-year-old government technology contractor was shot to death by police on the third floor of the Naval Sea Systems Command Building at the Navy Yard after exchanging gunfire with them for over an hour.

The FBI said this week that Alexis believed electromagnetic waves had been controlling him for months before the rampage.

The FBI said there were no signs that Alexis was targeting anybody in the rampage.

The attack raised questions about how Alexis was able to get security clearance to enter the base, despite a history of gun misuse. Alexis sought help for insomnia from two Veterans Administration hospitals. He also told police in Rhode Island he had heard voices and felt vibrations through hotel room walls.

On Thursday, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus named Admiral John Richardson, head of the Nuclear Propulsion Program, to conduct its investigation into the rampage, according to a Navy memo obtained by Reuters.

The memo said Richardson was to report back on Alexis' record of service and whether his security clearance and medical and criminal records were properly handled. The Navy investigation is one of three Defense Department probes looking at how Alexis was able smuggle a weapon and ammunition into a Navy installation.

(Additional reporting by David Alexander; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Stacey Joyce)

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