SAN FRANCISCO — The CEO of Jack'd, a Tinder-like gay chat and dating app, says he hasn't been contacted by law enforcement since reports surfaced late Monday Orlando shooter Omar Mateen might have been using the app for at least a year.
The service also hasn't been able to substantiate Mateen had been a member, said Hector Camacho, CEO of Jack'd parent company Online Buddies.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Mateen, 29, had messaged at least one regular Pulse patron sporadically over the past year using the Jack'd app.
Kevin West told the paper that he was at Pulse the night of the attack at the gay dance club that left 49 victims dead and 53 wounded. He said he recognized Mateen from the app. He said after the shooting, he went to the police and turned over his phone and Jack'd login information to the FBI.
However, Camacho said neither the FBI nor police have contacted the company. His staff has been unable to substantiate that Mateen had a profile on Jack'd based on the information they have gleaned from the news media.
Some holes in the story have emerged.
On Tuesday, Jack’d was approached by a television news show that wanted to schedule a joint interview with West and a spokesperson from the company, said Jack’d director of marketing Kevin Letourneau.
The news show sent Jack’d what was supposed to be a screen shot of Mateen’s profile on the site, which had been sent from one of its sources. The show wanted to confirm that the image hadn’t been doctored, said Letourneau.
However, the image was deemed to be a hoax because given what appeared in the image, Jack’d was able to determine that it was actually a photo uploaded to the sender’s own account and had not been sent from another account.
“Anyone could be uploading photos that they find, pretending to be someone else,” said Letourneau.
Without an email address or login credentials, Jack’d can neither confirm nor deny that Mateen had an account on its system, he said. Signing up for the basic version of the Jack'd app can be done anonymously and does not require a credit card or name verification.
The company is eager to help with the investigation, said CEO Camacho.
"We encourage law enforcement authorities to contact us if they have any additional information. We are ready to assist if we can provide any information that would help the investigation," Camacho said.
The possibility that Mateen had used the Jack'd app was enticing as it would have given investigators a treasure trove of data about him from its chat feature. With that seeming less likely, it's one closed door among many leads being pursued as the nation attempts to understand the killer's motives.
Jack'd is a location-based dating app for men that allows users to post public and private photos in their profile. Users can match with other men when both express interest in one another. The app allows users to chat before they meet. It is available for iPhones, Android and Windows phones.
It is one of several apps and sites created by Online Buddies, a Cambridge, Mass.-based gay social networking and dating company founded in 2001 by Jonathan Crutchley and Larry Basile.
The company's other sites include Manhunt, a site "for guys to meet online," Dandy, a mobile app for gay men to meet using a "fun, gamified interface" and OLB Research Institute, which coordinates research recruitment and health promotion activities across the Online Buddies sites.
According to the website, the company was "created to connect the gay community during the rise of online dating."
Jack'd was launched in 2010. According to the Online Buddies website, nearly 5 million men have joined it from around the world.