The Department of Homeland Security has put out a new warning Tuesday saying copycat mass shootings could happen in the coming months as a result of violent extremism.
In a domestic terror threat bulletin, Homeland Security warned that they expect the threat environment to increase in the coming months and targets could include public gatherings, churches, schools, racial and religious minorities, government facilities and the media.
Homeland Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas says that content and conspiracy theories have encouraged copycat attacks in the wake of the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
Actor Matthew McConaughey, who was born in Uvalde, appeared at the White House press briefing on Tuesday to urge lawmakers to take action.
"Responsible gun owners are fed up with the Second Amendment being abused and hijacked by some deranged individuals," he said. "New regulations are not a step back; they are a step forward for a civil society and the Second Amendment."
In a Senate hearing on online extremism's link to mass shootings, Gamell Whitfiled, the son of a woman killed in the Buffalo racial shooting, pleaded for action.
"People need to do their jobs," he said. "To live up to the oath that they took to serve and protect the people of this country."
Experts warned extremists are exploiting debates over abortion, immigration and racial equality and spreading fake news stories that mass shootings are staged by the government to enact gun control.
Homeland Security officials say they assess that the primary threat of mass casualty violence in the U.S. comes from lone offenders and small groups motivated by a range of ideological beliefs or personal grievances.
Both DHS and the FBI say they continue to share timely and actionable information.