DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - There has been a possible break in the case of a serial rapist. Police identified 29-year-old Alan Mason as a person of interest late Thursday night and took him into custody on Friday morning. This comes as a big development as authorities continue their investigation. Nine woman have been already been attacked so far, all in neighborhoods in southeast Dallas, near Fair Park.
Police received an anonymous tip on Thursday that lead them to search for Mason. The tipster gave authorities an address, told police that Mason needed to get out of town because he said he had done something wrong. That anonymous person also said that Mason wears the type of glasses described by the rape victims. Detectives have processed more than 50 tips just in the past two days. DNA results from one of the victims are still pending.
The total number of victims was lifted to nine on Thursday after two more women came forward to police. The first incident happened back on June 22. The most recent attack was on September 1. Authorities did not issue an alert about the serial rapist until Tuesday, which upset many residents who feel that warnings should have come sooner.
"I'm not really understanding why, you know, that was kept in the dark," said Felicia Clayborne at a community meeting on Thursday.
Police explained that they did not inform the public about the attacks until they knew for sure that they were connected. "These victims are often in shock and not ready to talk, and we have to go at their pace," said Chief David Brown.
In each attack, the suspect has walked up to the victims, put a gun to their heads and then sexually assaulted them. He fled from a number of the scenes in a silver-colored vehicle. Police located that vehicle at about 3:00 a.m. Friday morning at a home in Mesquite — the address given by the anonymous tipster. There, one of Mason's relatives pointed authorities to an apartment complex in the 2500 block of Summer Tree Circle in Arlington, where Mason lives.
Police from Dallas and Arlington located Mason at that apartment complex a short time later and took him into custody on an outstanding warrant for probation violation and traffic violations in McKinney and Mesquite. Mason is only a person of interest in the case right now. He has not been identified as a suspect or charged with any additional crimes.
Authorities questioned him in relation to the nine sexual assault incidents, and said that he "fully cooperated" with the investigation. Police also stated Friday that the investigation remains active, and that tips from the public are still needed. In the meantime, an increased police presence — both visible and undercover — will remain in southeast Dallas.