LOS ANGELES -- Police continued the massive manhunt for Christopher Dorner early Friday in a California mountain town despite the bitter cold and the chilling fact that the angry ex-cop may also be looking for them.
As quickly as Dorner had emerged on the scene with his guns, bravado and bitter manifesto, the burly man, who is wanted for three murders, had disappeared, it seemed.
Investigators suspect him of killing three people, a police officer and another officer's daughter and fiance, to settle a score for what he called an unjust firing.
Early Friday it seemed a while that the focus of the search had shifted to the San Diego area where someone called authorities to say they may have spotted Dorner near the Barona Indian Reservation there. Officers were searching that area, said Sgt. Jason Rothlein of the San Diego County Sheriff Department. He later said the phone call was likely a hoax.
Police on Thursday afternoon found the military-trained marksman's torched pickup truck near Big Bear Lake, about 100 miles east of the Los Angeles area where the killings had taken place.
But hours later, despite hundreds of officers, helicopters and door to door searches, everybody was still looking for Dorner.
And maybe at the same time looking over their shoulders.
Sends a message to the media
In addition to posting his manifesto online, Dorner reached out directly to CNN, mailing a parcel to AC360 anchor Anderson Cooper's office at CNN in New York.
The package arrived on February 1 and was opened by Cooper's assistant. Inside was a hand-labeled DVD, accompanied by a yellow Post-it note reading, in part, "I never lied" -- apparently in reference to his 2008 dismissal from the LAPD.
The package also contained a coin wrapped in duct tape. The tape bears the hand-written inscription: "Thanks, but no thanks, Will Bratton." It also had letters that may be read as "IMOA", which could be a commonly used Internet abbreviation for "Imagine a More Open America," or possibly "1 MOA," which means one minute of angle, perhaps implying Dorner was notably accurate with a firearm.
The coin is a souvenir medallion from former LAPD Chief William Bratton, of a type often given out as keepsakes. This one, though, was shot through with bullet holes: three bullet holes to the center and another shot nicked off the top.
The editorial staff of AC360 and CNN management were made aware of the package Thursday. Upon learning of its existence, they alerted Bratton and law enforcement.
CNN spokeswoman Shimrit Sheetrit said Thursday that a parcel containing a note, a DVD and a bullet hole-riddled memento were sent by Christopher Dorner and addressed to Cooper's office.
LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith says LAPD robbery-homicide detectives will inspect the package for clues.
The package arrived Feb. 1, days before the first two killings Dorner is accused of.
It contained a note on it that read, in part, "I never lied."
Dorner was fired from the LAPD in 2008 for making false statements.
A coin typically given out as a souvenir by the police chief was also in the package, and riddled with bullet holes.
Bratton headed the LAPD at the time Dorner was dismissed.
The dispute centers on a 2007 incident in San Pedro involving a man's arrest at a DoubleTree hotel. Two weeks later, Dorner accused his training officer of kicking the man after he'd given up.
The investigators' report said "the delay in reporting the alleged misconduct coupled with the witness' statements irreparably destroy Dorner's credibility." The report cited contradictory accounts from the arrested man and his father and denials by the accused officer and three hotel employees that the arrested man had been kicked. Dorner claims he was wrongly ousted for blowing the whistle on what he insists was police abuse.
Dorner challenged his firing for years, losing at every turn. First, the police department's Board of Rights rejected his appeal. Then, in October 2011, a judge ruled against his appeal, according to court records.
Beck, the Los Angeles police chief, said Thursday that Dorner's case had been "thoroughly reviewed" and said the department would not apologize to Dorner or clear his name.
But as his manifesto shows, Dorner is showing no sign of relenting.
Authorities locked down the Big Bear area Thursday after Dorner's truck was found. But late in the evening, after a fruitless search, no sightings or tips about Dorner's whearabouts, San Bernardino sheriff officials announced that schools and the local ski resort would open Friday.
The announcement fueled speculation that Dorner may have escaped the area.
"He could be anywhere at this point," San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said.
He wants revenge
Dorner, authorities said, is bent on vengeance against LAPD officers he claims ruined his life by forcing him out of his dream job. The 270-pound former Navy lieutenant detailed his rage in an 11-page manifesto.