TODAY   |  April 19, 2014

Kansas City highway shooting suspect due in court

Police arrested Mohammed Whitaker Friday, accusing him of a series of highway attacks over the past month. Investigators detailed in a news conference how they tracked him down, and NBC's John Yang reports one big question remains: what's the motive.

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>>> we are learning more this morning about the 27-year-old charged in connection with a string of highway shootings in missouri and also what led to his arrest. nbc's john yang is in kansas city . good morning.

>> reporter: good morning, eric erica, from a very windy kansas city , where mohammed whitaker is beginning his first day here, being held on $100,000 cash bail. investigators are telling us how he did what he is accused of doing. one big question remains unanswered. why? do you think that's what happened to you? one month to the day after authorities say tom mcfarland became victim two, driving home after his 10-year-old son's basketball game and hours after mohammed whitaker was formally charged with the crime, mcfarland , who was not injured, has one burning question.

>> my biggest question is the motive. why? not only, it turns out, shooting at my car but everyone els.

>> reporter: if investigators have an idea they're not saying.

>> i'm not going to give you any time lines. we're going to stick to what we started to say at the beginning. we're not going to give out any more information than we need to because we're not going to jeopardize the case.

>> reporter: over 100 tips, they focused on whitaker , gathering enough evidence to charge him with 18 counts in nine attacks linked by ballistics.

>> it involved a period of surveillance, it involved ballistics. it involved tips. it involved witness statements.

>> reporter: investigators seized a green dodge neon when they arrested whitaker . court documents also revealed they gotten a warrant to install a gps tracking device, tailing him as he maneuvered to stay in driver's blind spots . whitaker could face more charges.

>> the investigation is ongoing. we continue to receive leads and follow leads. we're not done yet. we're not done yet.

>> reporter: for tom mcfarland , what is done is the dread he smelled on the road the past month.

>> happy fo get back to the normal traffic as opposed to is there someone driving around with a gun?

>> reporter: if convicted, whitaker could spend the rest of his life in prison . he could make his first court appearance later today.