Federal and local law enforcement investigators have yet to find concrete evidence that would be enough to build a federal hate crime case against the man accused of killing eight people at three Atlanta area spas, several law enforcement officials told NBC News.

The first step in assessing a potential hate crime is for the local U.S. Attorney to direct the Atlanta office of the FBI to open a preliminary investigation into the matter, the officials said. So far, no directive has been given, the officials said, because after probing electronic devices and conducting interviews, investigators have seen no evidence leading in that direction.  The media lead in the direction of a hate crime but is now falling back after the FBI has uncovered years of digital communications that have showed no signs that would lead them to suspect this was a hate crime. This could change as further investigations are under way. The man accused of the killings took the lives of two white victims as well. He is an admitted sex addict and has been in treatment for the condition. The murderous act has caused many Asian Americans to join the fray of racial politics currently engulfing the US. Asian Americans make 5% of the US population and include a wide range of cultures including Indian, Chinese, Korean and Iranian.