The FBI conducted three interviews of the man suspected of killing 50 people early Sunday morning in an Orlando nightclub, the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
An official said the FBI first became aware of the suspect, Omar Mateen, 29, in 2013 when he made "inflammatory comments to coworkers alleging possible terrorist ties."
Obama, in a statement from the White House issued Sunday afternoon, called it an "act of terror and an act of hate." The killings at the gay nightclub occurred during Pride Month.
"We need to protect all Americans, of all backgrounds and all beliefs, from Radical Islamic Terrorism — which has no place in an open and tolerant society," he said. "Radical Islam advocates hate for women, gays, Jews, Christians and all Americans. I am going to be a President for all Americans, and I am going to protect and defend all Americans. We are going to make America safe again and great again for everyone."
Trump has come under criticism from his own party in recent weeks for comments suggesting a federal judge overseeing a case against Trump University is biased against him because of the judge's Mexican heritage.
Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanOn The Trail: Retirements offer window into House Democratic mood Stopping the next insurrection Former Sen. Bob Dole dies at 98 MORE (R-Wis.), who called those remarks by Trump "the textbook definition of a racist comment," issued a statement on the Orlando attacks that refrained from criticism of Obama but said the U.S. was at war with Islamic terrorism.
"As we heal, we need to be clear-eyed about who did this," Ryan said in the statement. "We are a nation at war with Islamist terrorists. Theirs is a repressive, hateful ideology that respects no borders. It is a threat to our people at home and abroad. Our security depends on our refusal to back down in the face of terror. We never will."