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Orlando's Pulse Nightclub Returned to Owner by Investigators

by Phil Helsel /  / Updated 
Traffic moves along Orange Avenue after authorities opened the streets around the Pulse nightclub on June 22 in Orlando.John Raoux / AP

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Law enforcement officials on Wednesday released the Pulse nightclub back to its owner, a month after it became the scene of the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.

"This is a bittersweet day. None of us will ever understand why this unspeakable event happened at Pulse, which was always intended to be a safe place for the LGBT community," Pulse owner Barbara Poma said in a statement.

Related: Orlando Massacre Victim's Family Plans to Sue Gun Company, Lawmaker Says

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On June 12, Omar Mateen opened fire at the Orlando club and took hostages. Forty-nine people were killed during the rampage. Police later killed Mateen.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said active criminal investigations into the shooting by both them and the FBI are ongoing.

But the department said of releasing the nightclub: “This event marks an important milestone in our community's recovery from the tragic events of June 12, 2016, as we continue to mourn the loss of the 49 victims and grieve with their families and friends.”

Poma said in the statement she is unsure about the specific next steps for the club.

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