A 15-year-old who carried out a school shooting in Washington state invited his victims to lunch by text message and then opened fire.

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Aylen Fryberg was sat at a table in the school cafeteria with five friends when he pulled out a .40-calibre handgun.

He shot them at close range and then killed himself.

Two 14-year-old girls were killed in the attack at Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Marysville, north of Seattle, and three students remain in hospital.

Snohomish County Sheriff Ty Trenary told a news conference that detectives are looking through text messages, phone and social media records in an investigation that could take months.

“The question everybody wants is why,” he said. “I don’t know that the ‘why’ is something we can provide.”

Fryberg, a member of a prominent Tulalip Indian Tribes family, was upset about a girl in the run-up to the shooting, friends said.

His Twitter feed was recently full of anguished postings, like “It won’t last … It’ll never last,” and “I should have listened. … You were right … The whole time you were right.”

Sheriff Trenary said the gun used in Friday’s shooting had been legally purchased by one of Fryberg’s relatives.

It is unclear how the schoolboy obtained the weapon.

The two girls killed were Zoe Galasso, who died at the scene, and Gia Soriano, who died in hospital on Sunday night.

The three injured were Shaylee Chuckulnaskit, 14, and Fryberg’s two cousins, Nate Hatch, 14, and Andrew Fryberg, 15.

Hatch, who was shot in the jaw, is the only victim who has shown signs of improvement.

The other two are in a critical condition.

A medical examiner said on Monday Fryberg deliberately killed himself.

There had been some question over whether he might have shot himself accidentally as a teacher tried to stop the bloodshed.

But Sheriff Trenary said there was no physical contact between the teacher and the gunman.

The other two are in a critical condition.

A medical examiner said on Monday Fryberg deliberately killed himself.

There had been some question over whether he might have shot himself accidentally as a teacher tried to stop the bloodshed.

But Sheriff Trenary said there was no physical contact between the teacher and the gunman.

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