David Bowdich

FBI Assistant Director in Charge David Bowdich, center, speaks during a press conference held at the San Bernardino Police Department in San Bernardino Jan. 5. Bowdich is leaving his position heading up the Los Angeles office of the FBI to take over the third-ranking position in the bureau back in Washington. (File photo)

By Beau Yarbrough, The Sun
Posted: 04/09/16 – 6:52 PM PDT |

David Bowdich, the FBI’s highest-ranking agent in Los Angeles and a key figure in the San Bernardino mass shooting investigation, is leaving California to become the third-highest ranking officer in the bureau.

“It came up a few months ago,” Bowdich said Saturday afternoon, as he was out walking his dog, a day after packing up his office .

FBI Director James B. Comey invited him out to Washington in February, he said, and offered him the associate deputy director position.

“He felt we had managed to get where we needed to go at that point” with the investigation into the Dec. 2 terrorist attack at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, which left 14 dead and 22 wounded.

“He said ‘look, you can support it from here, and have greater impact on the organization,’” Bowdich said. “I’ve been very focused on the families and, quite frankly, I told the families that I’d be here to the end because, I never dreamed this would happen. I never raised my hand for this and didn’t expect it to happen.”

Leaving the families of the Dec. 2 victims is the thing that gave him the most pause in taking his new position, he said.

“I think it’s important to me that the families know that there will be no light between the shields as far as we handle this as an organization going forward,” Bowdich said. “If we were not in a place where I was reasonably comfortable, I would not go. That doesn’t mean it’s over: far from it, far from it.”

He expects the prosecution of Enrique Marquez Jr., who allegedly provided the assault rifles that Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik used in the Dec. 2 attack, will “likely take a long time.”

About 20 agents are still combing through evidence related to the case.

“We’re trying to make sure we leave nothing undone,” Bowdich said. “There’s a lot going on behind the scenes to make sure we’ve examined every piece of evidence, be it digital or physical.”

The piece of evidence that’s been most in the news of late is the iPhone 5C issued to Farook by the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health, which he worked for as a public health inspector.

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