FBI says Zodiac Killer case is still 'open and unsolved' despite new theory on suspect's identity

The Zodiac Killer case is still open according to law enforcement, but a new theory is again bringing attention to the decades-old cold case.

A group named the Case Breakers, – which says it is made up of former law enforcement members, intelligence officers and others – has named a man who they believe is the so-called Zodiac Killer, prompting a firestorm of media attention on Wednesday.

The group says “physical and forensic evidence,” as well as recovered photos and other information has led it to identify a suspect who recently died.

The theory has not been endorsed by authorities as of Thursday evening.

The San Francisco office of the FBI said in a statement to USA TODAY on Thursday that "The FBI's investigation into the Zodiac Killer remains open and unsolved."

"Due to the ongoing nature of the investigation, and out of respect for the victims and their families, we will not be providing further comment at this time," the office added.

The FBI previously confirmed on Wednesday that their investigation into the historic case remained open.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports law enforcement is skeptical of the group's theory, especially that the group's suspect was involved in a killing in Riverside, California.

“Is there a chance that (the Case Breakers suspect) killed Cheri Jo Bates? No,” The Chronicle quotes Riverside Police Officer Ryan Railsback. “If you read what they (the Case Breakers) put out, it’s all circumstantial evidence. It’s not a whole lot.”

The Case Breakers said in a statement on Wednesday that they hoped to shared their results with police in Riverside.

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2020: Zodiac cipher solved 5 decades after serial killer terrorized Northern California

Authorities throughout California have been trying to hunt down the Zodiac Killer for decades. The killer, who left residents on edge in the 1960s, has been definitively linked to five killings.

However, the killer has seemingly claimed responsibility for more than 30 homicides and sent a series of bizarre and detailed letters to news organizations that included cryptograms, in which he called himself "Zodiac." During his spree, the killer also left two survivors who helped offer a description.

The disturbing and perplexing case has been a pop culture staple and inspired the 2007 movie “Zodiac,” directed by David Fincher. The case periodically makes national headlines, especially as amateur sleuths make progress in solving ciphers associated with the case.

The irony that the Zodiac Killer could have lived to see the case become famous was not lost on social media commenters who reacted to the latest theory.

Contributing: Christal Hayes, USA TODAY

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Zodiac Killer: FBI says case is open after group identifies suspect