TODAY

TODAY   |  February 13, 2013

Dorner hunt: Human remains found in burned cabin

Investigators discovered charred human remains late Tuesday within a torched California cabin where police sources say ex-cop Christopher Dorner barricaded himself after a deadly shootout with sheriff’s deputies. NBC’s Miguel Almaguer reports.

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>> know that scene in big bear lake , california, remains very active this morning, matt.

>> yeah. it's been very busy there. investigators spent the night at what's leftative cabin , 90 miles east of los angeles where that massive manhunt for christopher dorner came to an end. the drama unfolding way into the night . miguel almaguer is in big bear , following those developments. good morning to you.

>> reporter: matt, good morning to you. sheriff's deputies say they've not yet positively identified the body. multiple sources do tell nbc news it belongs to their suspect christopher dorner. his murder spree, they say, began more than a week ago today. they say it came to an end here in a cabin that went up in flames. gunfire in the mountains two hours east of los angeles . the statewide manhunt for fugitive christopher dorner took its dramatic, final turn on big bear mountain.

>> we have the suspect holed up in a cabin .

>> reporter: cornered inside a burning cabin , san bernardino sheriff says this is where they believe the former l.a. police officer and cop killer came to his end.

>> we believe he is still inside the cabin , yes.

>> reporter: there has been no sign of dorner since his burnt-out truck had been found six days ago. incredibly, just across the street from the sheriff's command post , sites of multiple media briefings. two women who arrived to clean the vacation rental stumbled on to dorner. he tied them up, then stole their car.

>> the first was a purple nissan, which he ultimately appeared to have been driving too fast, lost control of the vehicle, crashed it, carjacked the second white pickup.

>> reporter: police say he carjacked a truck from rick heltabrig.

>> this guy jumped in and out front of me, pointed a rifle at me. i put my hands up and stopped. he said, i don't want to hurt you. just get out and start walking.

>> reporter: officers pursued dorner.

>> he held a pistol out the window and fired multiple shots.

>> reporter: dorner now ditched the truck. on foot, in the woods, he reached a second cabin with two deputies in pursuit, another gunfight. this time, both officers were hit. one is killed.

>> law enforcement is a very close-knit family. all law enforcement agencies is a brotherhood. so, this is a very difficult day.

>> reporter: in the middle of it all, a cbs reporter found himself 200 feet from the firefight. still engaged in the gun battle, a tactical unit launched tear gas into the cabin .

>> burners deployed and we have a fire.

>> reporter: the cabin erupted in flames. a single gun shot was heard from inside the home. overnight, still no positive identification. now after a deadly crime spree that captivated the nation, police believe dorner's reign of terror is finally over. investigators say they hope to positively identify christopher dorner's body over the next several hours. they say he murdered four during his killing spree . later on today, the funeral for the sheriff's deputy that he murdered will be held in just a few hours. savannah?

>> miguel almaguer, thank you.

>>> rick heltibrick is the man