Police Lt. Jon Perkins, head of the Criminal Investigations Bureau.
That set off a chain reaction that derailed three trains. Alvarez
doused his car with gasoline to maximize the damage, Perkins said.
"This was a deliberate act perpetrated by Alvarez to gain sympathy
from his wife," Perkins said. "In my experience, people do strange
things when it comes to love.
"The evidence will show it presents a much different Alvarez than
what's been portrayed in the media, as somebody who's not all there."
Police told the media on the day of the crash that Alvarez
intended to kill himself when he parked his car on the tracks.
"That was what it appeared to be at the time," Police Chief Randy
Adams said. "When you're out at a scene and you have preliminary
information, you can be very closed-mouthed and not share
information, or you can try to be open to the media. As the
investigation unfolds and develops, some initial information may be
clarified or corrected.
"He was described as deranged, despondent and depressed. A lot of
those traits may still be there. The thing we've been able to uncover
is more of a pattern of deliberateness."
After Alvarez pleaded innocent Tuesday to 11 counts of murder and
one count of arson, his attorney and family members described a
deeply disturbed man who tried to take his own life.
Perkins painted a different picture, saying Alvarez was lucid and
deliberate in his attempt to harm others and tried to take his own
life only after the crash.
Alvarez first parked his Cherokee parallel to the railroad tracks,
where a witness saw a man with a plastic container pouring gasoline
on the top and front of the car, Perkins said. Soon after, another
witness saw the Cherokee on the tracks, with a man standing at the
passenger-side door, Perkins said.
Chemical tests confirmed that Alvarez poured gasoline inside the
car, Perkins said.
"When the train approached, he takes off running," Perkins said.
"He could have torched himself earlier, he could have laid on tracks,
he could have got in the car. If he really wanted to commit suicide,
he had numerous options he could've picked from. He didn't, until
after the incident happened."