TODAY   |  April 01, 2013

Manhunt under way for killer of Texas DA, wife

Texas district attorney Mike McClelland and his wife Cynthia were found dead, just two months after McClelland’s top assistant was also shot dead. Authorities are exploring a link between the two crimes and a possible link to a  white supremacist group. NBC’s Gabe Gutierrez reports.

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>>> we have new information this morning on the manhunt for a killer who gunned down a district attorney and his wife in their texas home. is that crime connected to the murder of his top assistant recently? nbc's gabe gutierrez is in kaufman, texas , this morning. good morning to you.

>> reporter: good morning. there will be stepped up security here at the county courthouse today. the district attorney's office will be closed to the public. this entire community is on high alert. today, local police and the fbi are frantically trying to solve a murder mystery .

>> so nerving to the law enforcement community.

>> reporter: on saturday police found the bodies of d.r. mike mclelland and his wife cynthia, mclelland shot multiple times, his wife shot once.

>> they were deeply, deeply in love and so attached to each other.

>> reporter: the murders come two months after the county's assistant prosecutor, mark cassie, was gunned down on his way to work at the courthouse. authorities are exploring a possible link. right after that shooting in january mclelland spoke directly to the killer.

>> i hope that the people that did this are watching, because we're very confident that we're going to find you.

>> reporter: investigators had been looking into whether the assistant d.a.'s murder was connected to the killing of another public official , colorado prison chief tom clements , the suspect in that case killed in a police shoot-out in north texas was part of a white supremacist group. months before, the texas department of public safety warned that the aryan brotherhood of texas was planning retaliation against law enforcement officials. so far federal authorities tell pete williams they haven't found any solid connection among the murders.

>> everybody is afraid to go out into public especially around the courthouse.

>> reporter: the courthouse that had never seen prayers quite like this on easter sunday. district attorney mclelland was a gulf war veteran. he and his wife leave behind five grown children, including a dallas police officer. matt?

>> gabe gutierrez in texas , thank