Texas church shooter suffered from 'a lot of demons,' says ex-wife

The gunman who killed 26 worshippers during a recent rampage in a church in Texas suffered from a lot of "demons or hatred," according to his ex-wife who was reportedly subjected to domestic abuse and lived in constant fear of her then-husband.

(Texas Department of Safety / Handout via REUTERS)Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, of Braunfels, Texas, U.S., involved in the First Baptist Church shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, is shown in this undated Texas Department of Safety driver license photo, provided November 6, 2017.

In her first and exclusive interview with CBS News' Inside Edition since the church shooting, Tessa Brennaman said Devin Patrick Kelley had abused her throughout their marriage and had threatened to kill her whole family. In 2013, the Texas gunman had pleaded guilty to hitting, kicking, choking his first wife as well as pulling her hair. 

Aside from that, the former Air Force airman admitted that he had also hurt Brennaman's young son. He was sentenced to one year in military prison and was discharged over bad conduct.

"He just had a lot of demons or hatred inside of him," Brennaman told Inside Edition.

Meanwhile, legal experts said the U.S. Air Force could be held liable for the Texas massacre because it had failed to report Kelley's criminal record. The assault against his first wife and child would have made it illegal for him to own a firearm, Reuters reported.

According to the Air Force, it had failed to encode Kelley's conviction into a federal database for background checking people who buy firearms even though it was required to do so. Although there are government officials and agencies that cannot be touched by civil lawsuits, a number of lawyers including Georgia State University law professor Timothy Lytton and Yale Law School professor Peter Schuck said the Air Force was not covered by the same immunity.

A representative for the Air Force had turned down a request for comment on the issue. As of this writing, no lawsuit has been filed against it, but some lawyers said this was understandable, given that only a few days have gone by since the Texas church shooting.