Contradictions and confusion still surround the attack on the Resorts World Manila (RWM) in the early hours of today (Friday, June 20).
While the so-called Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility for a “lone wolf” attack, police and investigators maintain it was a botched robbery or the revenge of an unsuccessful gambler.
As the long day draws to a close, here is a timeline of events so far:
About midnight – A lone gunman barges into RWM, firing shots and setting gaming tables on fire using gasoline.
12.53am – Fire in RWM raises to first alarm.
1.45-3.45am – Manila International Airport Authority shuts gates at Ninoy Aquino International Airport, due to its proximity to RWM.
1.47am – Guests of the connected Maxims Hotel are evacuated and nearby Marriott Hotel and Remington Hotel are placed on lockdown by police.
2.05am – RWM announces on its Facebook page that the establishment is on lockdown.
2.14am – Counter-terrorism organisation SITE Intelligence Group tweets that a Filipino IS terrorist says the group claims responsibility on the casino attack.
3.29am – The US Embassy in Manila, through its Facebook page, advises citizens to exercise caution, monitor local news and heed instructions given by local authorities.
3.34am – US President Donald Trump expresses sadness over what he calls a “terrorist attack” in Manila.
4.08am – Police chief Ronald de la Rosa rules out terrorism as the motive for the attack. He adds that, after the gunman stole casino chips and set fire to the tables, he set fire to himself.
7.50am – RWM says it will defer to the police for all official announcements and updates.
8.14am – Police release CCTV screenshots of the suspected gunman to the media.
8.40am – Police release photo of the charred remains of the suspect after he set himself on fire at Room 510.
10.26am – Police announce that 25 people, mostly on the second and eighth floors, died due to suffocation.
10.27am – National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon says authorities “not discounting possibility of even a small-scale terror attack” in RWM.
10.31am — In a statement, presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella advises people not to go to the area for safety reasons.
10.58am – RWM says it has extended medical assistance to 54 individuals who were taken to nearby hospitals.
11.03am – Palace extends its deep condolences to the families and friends of victims.
11.52am – Officers of the police’s Supervisory Office for Security and Investigation Agencies announces it will investigate lapses by RWM security personnel.
11.58am – In a palace media briefing, Director Oscar Albayalde, chief of the National Capital Region Police Office, says deaths due to suffocation rises to 36 — the gunman being the 37th killed.
12.12pm – In an interview with media, RWM chief operating officer Stephen Reilly says security did not engage gunman so as not to escalate the situation, adding that security staff within the casino were not armed.
3.21pm – In a media briefing, RWM officials reveals names of employees and guests who died due to suffocation. Mr Reilly reiterates that there was only one gunman.
8.22pm – The remains of another victim announced, bringing total fatalities, including the gunman, to 38.