But even as the question of Dorner's fate seemed close to being answered, other details eluded explanation.
The deputy's death in the shootout Tuesday brought to four the number of people Dorner is accused of killing.
Dorner, a man who vowed to kill police officers to avenge what he called an unfair termination, was first named a suspect in two shooting deaths on February 3: that of the daughter of his police union representative and of her fiance.
Police also say he killed one officer in Riverside, California, and wounded two others Thursday.
Authorities offered a $1 million dollar reward in the case after Dorner's burned truck was found on a forestry road near Big Bear Lake on February 7, about 100 miles east of Los Angeles.
Officers converged on the remote area but the trail went cold for days. On Sunday, the San Bernadino authorities said they had scaled back the search.
That all changed Tuesday, where arguably the most wanted man in America was finally spotted.
The question of where Dorner was between February 7 and Tuesday was unclear.
Wardens of the California Fish and Wildlife said they spotted Dorner driving a purple Nissan down the icy roads Tuesday. Dorner was driving very close to some school buses as if using them as cover, said Lt. Patrick Foy.
The wardens, driving in two different vehicles, chased Dorner and a gun battle ensued.