Police tape surrounds a bullet-damaged Los Angeles Police vehicle on Thursday Feb. 7, 2013 in Corona, Calif. Former Los Angeles police officer Christopher Dorner is suspected if shooting at the two LAPD officers in the vehicle, who were sent to Corona to protect someone Dorner threatened in a rambling online manifesto. One officer's head was grazed by a bullet. Thousands of police officers throughout Southern California and Nevada hunted Thursday for Dorner, who was angry over his firing and began a deadly shooting rampage that he warned in an online posting would target those on the force who wronged him. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Details given on the suspect vehicle fire and search in LAPD manhunt.
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Law enforcement officers working in falling snow and freezing temperatures searched a Southern California mountain Friday in search of a fired police officer who threatened to bring "warfare" to the Los Angeles Police Department and went on a shooting rampage that left a policeman and two others dead.
More than 100 officers from various agencies were searching for Christopher Dorner in the Big Bear Lake region of the San Bernardino Mountains east of Los Angeles.
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Deputies were driven up snowbound roads on Snowcat tractors and armored personnel carriers equipped with snow chains, he said, but helicopters were grounded because of the storm.
"We're going to continue searching until either we discover that he left the mountain or we find him, one of the two," San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said at a midmorning news conference.
A search of dozens of homes in the Big Bear community failed to find Dorner and the search was concentrating farther back in the mountains, near and above the place where his burnt-out pickup truck was found on Thursday, the sheriff said.
Officers followed what appeared to be Dorner's tracks from the truck but lost them on the frozen ground, McMahon said.
"There's a lot of cabins up there that are abandoned. We want to make sure that he didn't find a place to hide out for the night," he said.
A couple of reported sightings of Dorner didn't pan out and "we have no information that he's come down into the community at all," McMahon said.
Bear Valley schoolchildren had the day off because of the manhunt.
About 150 miles (250 kilometers) to the south, up to 16 San Diego County sheriff's deputies spent the night surrounding and searching a rural home after a hoaxer reported Dorner was there. There were people at home but Dorner wasn't one of them, said Lt. Jason Rothlein. Investigators have a pretty good idea who made the call and will be seek criminal charges, he said.
Though the focus is on the resort area, the search for Dorner, 33, stretches across California, Nevada, Arizona and northern Mexico. LAPD officers are especially on edge because Dorner, who was fired from the force in 2008 after three years on the job, promised in rambling writings to bring "warfare" to police and their families.
"We don't know what he's going to do," said Cindy Bachman, spokeswoman for the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, one of many law enforcement agencies whose primary purpose has become finding Dorner. "We know what he's capable of doing. And we need to find him."
Said LAPD Assistant Chief Michel Moore: "This complex and violent investigation has led to this mountain."
The pickup was to be processed at a crime lab Thursday evening and examined by investigators from multiple agencies.
Throughout the day, thousands of heavily armed officers patrolled highways throughout Southern California, while some stood guard outside the homes of people police say Dorner vowed to attack in a rant posted online. Electronic billboards, which usually alert motorists about the commute, urged them to call emergency services if they saw him.
"I will bring unconventional and asymmetrical warfare" to Los Angeles Police Department officers, on or off duty, said the manifesto. It also asserted: "Unfortunately, I will not be alive to see my name cleared. That's what this is about, my name. A man is nothing without his name."
Dorner, 33, had several weapons including an assault rifle, said police Chief Charlie Beck, who urged him to surrender at a news conference held amid heightened security in an underground room at police headquarters.
"Of course he knows what he's doing; we trained him. He was also a member of the Armed Forces," he said. "It is extremely worrisome and scary."
The nearly 10,000-member LAPD dispatched officers to protect more than 40 potential targets, including police officers and their families. The department also pulled officers from motorcycle duty, fearing they would make for easy targets.
"I never had the opportunity to have a family of my own, I'm terminating yours," the manifesto said.
At one point, officers guarding one location mistakenly opened fire on a pickup truck, believing it matched the description of Dorner's dark-colored 2005 Nissan Titan. Two occupants were injured.
The chief said there had been a "night of extreme tragedy in the Los Angeles area" and that the department was taking measures to ensure the safety of officers.
The search for Dorner, who was fired from the LAPD in 2008 for making false statements, began after he was linked to a weekend killing in which one of the victims was the daughter of a former police captain who had represented him during his disciplinary hearing. Thursday was the anniversary of his first day on the job at the department eight years ago.