A fugitive ex-cop suspected of gunning down three people abandoned his pickup truck when its axle snapped on a rugged fire access road in the San Bernardino Mountains, where a search for fugitive entered its third day on Saturday, officials said.

An arsenal of weapons and survival gear was found inside the burned-out pickup truck that Christopher Jordan Dorner set afire Thursday morning the Big Bear Ski Area official said.

Authorities said it appeared that the axle of Dorner's truck broke when he briefly lost control of his Nissan pick-up on the access road, which is intended for use by heavy-duty fire equipment.

He set off on foot, then backtracked using his same footprints, before setting off on a different course and disappearing into the wilderness, according to officials, who spoke on the condition on anonymity.

That touched off a massive manhunt in the town of Big Bear and the surrounding mountains, where more than 100 law-enforcement officers fanned out again Saturday.

After suspending their effort Friday night because of blizzard conditions, Authorities hoped clearing skies would allow them to send up aircraft with heat-sensing technology that could help them locate Dorner, a fired LAPD officer bent on revenge.

Teams of officers in cold-weather gear knocked on doors and at times broke into locked vacation cabins in the picturesque mountain town on the off chance that the police- and military-trained veteran had taken refuge there.

"We are prepared to continue the search until he's either found or they have evidence that he is no longer on the mountain.


Advertisement

" San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said.

Dorner is wanted in the slayings of the daughter of a retired LAPD captain and her fiance, who were killed last Sunday. On Wednesday, authorities said, he shoot three police officers, killing one, in Riverside.

Authorities found a 11,000-word manifesto posted on what they believe is Dorner's Facebook page, vowing revenge against those he holds responsible for his 2009 firing from the Los Angeles Police Department.

"Any threat assessments you generate will be useless," the posting read. "I have the strength and benefits of being unpredictable, unconventional, and unforgiving."

Along with LAPD Chief Charlie Beck and several police police officers, the manifesto also mentions actor Charlie Sheen, describing him as "awesome."

In an online video posted Saturday by TMZ.com, Sheen, delivered a message of his own the accused killer.

"You mentioned me in your manifesto, so thank you for your kind words," he said. "I am urging you to call me. Let's figure out together how to end this thing. Call me. I look forward to talking to you."

Authorities have said they do not know how long Dorner had been planning the rampage or why he drove to the San Bernardino Mountains. Property records show his mother owns undeveloped land nearby, but a search of the area found no sign of him.

It was also unclear whether he had provisions, clothing or weapons stockpiled in the area, where temperatures barely climbed above freezing Saturday despite the sunny skies.

In addition to his training with the LAPD, Dorner also received specialized training as a Navy Reservist, earning a rifle marksman ribbon and pistol expert medal.

He was assigned to a naval undersea warfare unit and various aviation training units, according to military records.

A digital billboard along Santa Monica Boulevard on the Westside of Los Angeles shows a "wanted" alert for former Los Angeles police officer
A digital billboard along Santa Monica Boulevard on the Westside of Los Angeles shows a "wanted" alert for former Los Angeles police officer Christopher Dorner on Friday, Feb. 8, 2013. He is the suspect in the shooting deaths of a former LAPD captain's daughter and her fiance, and two other shootings that left an officer dead and two others wounded. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

He took leave from the LAPD for a six-month deployment to Bahrain in 2006 and 2007. An LAPD newsletter has carried a photo of Dorner with then-Chief Bill Bratton, who gave him a gold coin as a souvenir.

Last Friday was Dorner's last day with the Navy and also the day CNN's Anderson Cooper received a package that contained a note on it that read, in part, "I never lied." The coin that Bratton gave him, now riddled with bullet holes, was also in the package.

Dorner had accused his training officer of kicking a suspect during an arrest. He was fired for lying when his version of events could not be substantiated.

Monica Quan, 28, the woman killed last Sunday, was the daughter of the now-retired LAPD captain who represented Dorner at the Board of Rights hearing that led to his firing. Her fiance, Keith Lawrence, was also fatally shot.

Authorities said they've received tips from around Southern California claiming to have seen Dorner. However, there have been no substantiated sightings since Thursday, when authorities found his tracks near his abandoned truck.

With every law-enforcement officer a potential target, agencies around Southern California are taking extra precautions.

Officers are being deployed in teams, and security patrols have been posted near the homes of those officers targeted in Dorner's manifesto.

Down in San Diego, a massive traffic jam developed at the Mexican border, where officers wearing body armor and cradling rifles were photographed watching traffic heading through the unusual bottleneck at the Mexican border.

But police and federal agents would not confirm if the unusual police tactics at the border was a result of the manhunt for Dorner at the busiest border crossing in the world.


Los Angeles News Group staffers Brian Day, Doug Saunders, Ryan Hagen and Barbara Jones contributed to this report.