8:20 PM -- The LAPD held a news conference and said no body has been pulled out of the scorched cabin yet ... as it is still too hot to enter.
Law enforcement sources directly connected to the case tell TMZ a body was found inside a Big Bear cabin, and they are all but certain it is Christopher Dorner -- who earlier engaged police in a gunfight before the cabin went up in flames.
We're told positive identification may take a while because the body was badly burned, but our sources are convinced they have their man.
Cops had cornered Dorner in the remote cabin ... after reports came in that he robbed a nearby home, tied up the couple living inside and fled in a white Dodge pickup truck.
A state Fish & Game ranger fired on the vehicle, and cops closed in soon after -- resulting in a violent standoff ... during which tons of shots were fired, hitting two San Bernardino County deputies ... one of whom died at the hospital.
At this point, it's unclear how exactly Dorner died. Cops reportedly heard a single gunshot around the time the cabin ignited ... indicating Dorner might have shot himself.
Dorner was accused of murdering three people -- including one police officer -- in shootings that took place on February 3rd and February 7th in California. Two other police officers were injured in the shootings.
Cops believe Dorner -- a former LAPD officer who was dismissed in 2008 -- posted a rambling manifesto on his Facebook page ... in which he declared "unconventional and asymmetric warfare" on the LAPD and their families.
In the manifesto, Dorner also expressed his admiration for countless celebrities -- like Charlie Sheen, Bill Cosby, Larry David, and Ellen DeGeneres.
In Gun Battle with Cops
2/12/2013 5:00 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
5:15 PM PT -- The cabin has burned to the ground. Police are still surrounding the property and waiting to move in to begin searching for any sign of Dorner.
4:18 PM PT -- The entire cabin is on fire -- and one person on the scene says it's "completely engulfed in flames." It's unclear if Dorner is still inside.
3:50 PM PT -- The L.A. Times is reporting one of the deputies shot in the crossfire has died from his injuries.
2:52 PM PT -- TMZ has learned ... the L.A. City Fire Dept. is airlifting the L.A.P.D. SWAT team to Big Bear so they can help with the standoff.
2:39 PM PT -- The FAA has implemented "Temporary Flight Restrictions" around Big Bear due to the gun battle. Only law enforcement aircraft can fly in the restricted area.
The restricted area is 5 miles in radius, from the ground up to 13,000 feet above sea level, which is about 5,000 feet above ground level.
1:48 PM PT -- There seems to be a lull in the gunfire. Cops have also confirmed two deputies were shot by the suspect -- the extent of their injuries is unclear.
1:35 PM PT -- Cops involved in the gun battle are screaming at a local reporter at the scene to "get the f**k out."
Cops have repeatedly cussed at the reporter -- demanding that he leave for his own good.
Murder suspect/ex-cop Christopher Dorner is now cornered by cops in a remote cabin in Big Bear, CA ... law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... and we're now told Dorner is using smoke grenades to fend off police.
We're also hearing there are 2 officers down.
One source directly involved in the case tells TMZ, "We have him cornered." This comes after a couple were the victims of a home invasion robbery in Big Bear. The suspect fled in a white Dodge pickup truck and a State Fish and Game ranger fired on the vehicle.
Cops believe they are now poised to get their man. We're told a perimeter has been established by cops.
Christopher Dorner Shootout
Cop Dies From Gunshot Wound
2/12/2013 4:10 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
One of the deputies who was hit in the shootout with Christopher Dorner has died from his injuries ... this according to multiple reports.
The deputy was one of two cops who was shot in the gun battle with Dorner outside a remote cabin in Big Bear, CA. The cops were among the first to respond to the cabin.
Dorner is still holed up in the cabin -- with an army of officers surrounding the area.
Dorner had been suspected of killing 3 people -- including a cop ... and now, with this tragic turn of events, his alleged kill count is now up to 4.
The condition of the other deputy injured in the shootout is unknown.
Christopher Dorner Standoff
By Howard Stern Fan
2/12/2013 2:50 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
It was only a matter of time ... but a Howard Stern fan managed to infiltrate the Christopher Dorner news coverage by posing as an expert ... and PRANKED a Los Angeles TV station live on the air.
The caller got through to KCBS-TV moments ago claiming to be a State Fish and Game ranger named Mike Taugher ... and he was SUPPOSED to recap the events leading up to the shootout.
It started out pretty believable ... but when the caller name-dropped Ronnie The Limo Driver (a Stern regular) it was pretty clear CBS has just been hoaxed.
... well, obvious to everyone but the anchor ... who continued engaging the caller until he told her it was a joke and called her a "dumbass."
Ex-Cop Christopher Dorner
May Have Bought Scuba
Tanks to AMBUSH Cops
2/12/2013 11:20 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
TMZ has learned ... alleged cop killer Christopher Dorner purchased a large scuba tank not for diving ... but to create his own air supply in case he was tear-gassed, which would allow him to ambush cops ... at least that is the main operating theory among law enforcement working on the case.
Although LAPD brass said at a news conference they were not in a position to confirm or deny Dorner is the person in the Feb 1st Sports Chalet surveillance video .... law enforcement sources connected to the case tell us they are "confident" Dorner is the man on the screen. The reason the brass will not say definitively if it's Dorner is because the scuba gear was a cash transaction, but we're told they know it's him.
Our sources tell us ... they believe Dorner did NOT fill the 2 small oxygen tanks and buy a large one for the purpose of diving. We're told they believe he knew he would end up being surrounded by cops while inside a building and they would probably use tear gas to subdue him.
We're told cops believe Dorner -- who is quite familiar with LAPD tactics -- may well have made the purchase to create his own oxygen supply, so he could withstand a tear gas attack and then ambush unsuspecting officers who went in to subdue him.
Christopher Dorner Manhunt
Look-alikes to Cops:
2/12/2013 10:15 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Didn't take long for people to start mocking police over the handling of the Christopher Dorner case.
After cops mistakenly opened fire on two Latina women who happened to be driving in a truck that resembled the one Dorner reportedly used to escape ... the Internet exploded with people who felt like taunting law enforcement.
In fact, one photo features a black person wearing a shirt reading, "NOT CHRIS DORNER PLEASE DO NOT SHOOT."
There are also photos showing signs on trucks warning cops not to open fire -- bumper stickers have also surfaced featuring a similar message.
Meantime, cops are still on the hunt for Dorner, who allegedly murdered 3 people -- including a police officer.
Ex-Cop Christopher Dorner
Shops For Scuba Gear
2 Days Before Murders (VIDEO)
2/12/2013 8:15 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Alleged cop killer Christopher Dorner went to a Southern California sporting goods store 2 days before he began his murder spree to purchase scuba equipment ... and TMZ has obtained the surveillance video.
Dorner went to Sports Chalet in Torrance -- a beachside community in the L.A. area -- on February 1st. The video shows Dorner carrying in 2 small, yellow scuba tanks as he walks into the scuba section. Sources tell us ... Dorner got the tanks refilled with oxygen.
The video then shows Dorner leaving the scuba section with the 2 yellow tanks, along with another large, black scuba tank. Dorner then goes to the counter, and then has a friendly conversation with the cashier, at times laughing.
Dorner -- who was a member of a Naval undersea warfare unit -- pays cash for the items and then leaves.
The surveillance tape shows Dorner arriving at Sports Chalet at 9:21 PM and leaving at 9:38 PM, just as the store closed.
The bodies of the first 2 victims were found at 9 PM on February 3rd -- 48 hours after Dorner's trip to Sports Chalet.
What's really interesting ... Dorner reportedly tried stealing a boat in San Diego on February 6th ... where scuba gear might come in handy. The plan was thwarted when the prop got tangled in a rope.
Sources tell TMZ ... the U.S. Marshals went to Sports Chalet Sunday and got a copy of the surveillance video.
Law enforcement sources involved in the case have confirmed to TMZ ... the man in the video is indeed Dorner. And, as one law enforcement source put it, the video is significant because "it shows what he was up to."
Charlie Sheen's Plea
Christopher Dorner ...
2/9/2013 2:36 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Charlie Sheen wants to do his part to bring ex-LAPD officer Christopher Dorner into custody safely ... so he's recorded a video plea asking the wanted man to call him to talk things out.
Dorner -- who is accused of killing three people including a cop -- mentioned a number of celebs in his online "manifesto," and wrote about Sheen, "Charlie Sheen, you’re effin awesome."
Sheen recorded the message to Dorner yesterday, saying, "You mentioned me in your manifesto, so thank you for your kind words. I am urging you to call me. Let's figure out together how to end this thing."
Dorner is still currently at large.
Christopher Dorner Sent Me
2/7/2013 4:15 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Before his shooting spree ... Christopher Dorner sent CNN anchor Anderson Cooper a parcel, containing a note, a DVD, and a coin riddled with bullet holes -- so says Cooper.
Cooper just tweeted about the package, saying he only learned today the package was sent to him.
According to CNN, the package was delivered to Cooper's assistant on February 1st -- and contained a hand-labeled DVD with a sticky note that read "I never lied." Wolf Blitzer said the note appeared to refer to when Dorner was fired from the LAPD in 2008.
It also contained a coin wrapped in duct tape, which was inscribed with "Thanks but no thanks, Will Bratton." Bratton served as the LAPD Chief until 2009. The coin was also inscribed with the initials "IMOA," which typically stands for "Imagine a More Open America."
The coin -- reportedly given by the LAPD as a souvenir -- was riddled with bullet holes.
As we reported, Dorner posted a rambling message on his Facebook shortly before his alleged shooting spree, in which he's accused of killing three people, including one police officer.
In the message, Dorner includes Anderson Cooper in a list of journalists whom he admires, saying, "Keep up the great work."
Dorner's Favorite Celebs:
2/7/2013 11:52 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Ex-LAPD officer Christopher Dorner -- the subject of a citywide manhunt -- wrote a rambling manifesto professing his love for dozens of celebrities, and now some of them are coming forward ... begging the fugitive to surrender to police.
L.A. radio personality Bill Handel, from KFI-AM, spoke to us moments ago about Dorner ... and recorded a personal plea for Dorner to turn himself in to authorities.
We also spoke to comedienne Lisa Lampanelli, who Dorner called a "genius," and she made a similar plea.
So far, Dorner is suspected of shooting and killing three people, one of whom was a police officer. Two other officers were injured in the shootings.
LAPD Cop Killer
Left Messages for Tebow, Charlie Sheen, Larry David
2/7/2013 11:30 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Ex-LAPD officer Christopher Dorner -- the accused killer at the center of a citywide manhunt -- posted a rambling message to various celebrities ... including Tim Tebow ... before embarking on his murderous rampage.
The message is part of an "uncensored manifesto" that law enforcement confirms to TMZ was posted to the Internet by Dorner. Besides various threats to police officers and their families ... Dorner --who's now accused of killing 3 people including a cop -- also blogs goodbye messages to his favorite stars, as if he's planning on dying.
His message to Tim Tebow reads:
Tebow, I really wanted to see you take charge of an offense again and the game. You are not a good QB by todays standards, but you are a great football player who knows how to lead a team and WIN. You will be “Tebowing” when you reach your next team. I have faith in you. Get out of that circus they call the Jets and away from the reality TV star, Rex Ryan, and Mark Rapist Sanchez.
He also included a note to "Inglourious Basterds" star Christoph Waltz:
Christopher Walz, you impressed me in Inglorious Basterds. After viewing Django Unchained, I was sold. I have come to the conclusion that you are well on your way to becoming one of the greats if not already and show glimpses of Daniel Day Lewis and Morgan Freeman-esque type qualities of greatness. Trust me when I say that you will be one of the greatest ever.
Super chef Anthony Bourdain:
Anthony Bourdain, you’re a modern renaissance man who epitomizes the saying “too cool for school”.
"Curb Your Enthusiasm" star Larry David:
Larry David, I agree. 72-82 degrees is way to hot in a residence. 68 , degrees is perfect.
Larry David, Kevin Hart, the late Patrice Oneal, Lisa Lampanelli, Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, Louis CK, Dave Chapelle, Jon Stewart, Wanda Sykes, Dennis Miller, and Jeff Ross are pure geniuses.
Ellen Degeneres, continue your excellent contribution to entertaining America and bringing the human factor to entertainment. You changed the perception of your gay community and how we as Americans view the LGBT community. I congratulate you on your success and opening my eyes as a young adult, and my generation to the fact that you are know different from us other than who you choose to love. Oh, and you Prop 8 supporters, why the f*ck do you care who your neighbor marries. Hypocritical pieces of sh*t.
Charlie Sheen, you’re effin awesome.
He continues with the following messages ...
"Jennifer Beals, Serena Williams, Grae Drake, Lisa Nicole-Carson, Diana Taurasi, N’bushe Wright, Brenda Villa, Kate Winslet, Ashley Graham, Erika Christensen, Gabrielle Union, Isabella Soprano, Zain Verjee, Tamron Hall, Gina Carano, America Ferrara, Giana Michaels, Nene, Natalie Portman, Queen Latifah, Michelle Rodriguez, Anjelah Johnson, Kelly Clarkson, Nora Jones, Laura Prepon, Margaret Cho, and Rutina Wesley, you are THE MOST beautiful women on this planet, period. Never settle, professionally or personally."
Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five” is the greatest piece of music ever, period. Hanz Zimmer, William Bell, Eric Clapton, BB King, Bob Marley, Sam Cooke, Metallica, Rob Zombie, Nora Jones, Marvin Gaye, Jay-Z, and the King (Louis Armstrong) are musical prodigies.
Jeffrey Toobin and David Gergen, you are political geniuses and modern scholars. Hopefully Toobin is nominated for the Supreme Court and implements some damn common sense and reasoning instead of partisan bickering. But in true Toobin fashion, we all know he would not accept the nomination.
John and Ken from KFI, never mute your facts and personal opinions. You are one of the few media personalities who speak the truth, even when the truth is not popular. I will miss listening to your discussions.
Dorner also trashed some of his least favorite people, including Cardinal Mahony and the Westboro Baptist Church:
Cardinal Mahoney, you are in essence a predator yourself as you enabled your subordinates to molest multiple children in the church over many decades. May you die a long and slow painful death.
Westboro Baptist Church, may you all burn slowly in a fire, not from smoke inhalation, but from the flames and only the flames.