The Marine Corps has confirmed that it has prepared Purple Heart award packages for the Marines killed last week in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, however, must first formally declare ties between the shooter, Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez, and a foreign terrorist organization before the packets can be submitted.

"Determination of eligibility will have to wait until all the facts are gathered and the FBI investigation is complete," Marine Corps public affairs officer Maj. Clark Carpenter told Marine Corps Times.

The Marine Corps is also looking into the criteria and requirements for awarding the Purple Heart to Sgt. DeMonte Cheeley, a recruiter who was injured in the attack, said Capt. Alejandro Aguilera, a spokesman for 6th Marine Corps District.

Cheeley was shot in the leg after Abdulazeez drove up to his recruiting office and fired dozens of rounds through the storefront window. The shooter later drove to the nearby Navy Operational Support Center where he continued his attack, killing four Marines and a sailor.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain told the Washington Times vowedon Wednesday that he will seek the medal for the service members, but the FBI has only thus far referred to the attacker as a "homegrown violent extremist."

McCain also said that new legislation may be required to make sure the victims are eligible, according to the Washington Times.

Purple Heart

Photo Credit: Alan Lessig/Staff

To currently receive the Purple Heart, it must be demonstrated that the active -duty troops military members were killed or wounded by someone in communication with or inspired and motivated by a foreign terrorist organization.

The stipulation reflects changes made to the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act to retroactively award the medal to the victims of the 2009 Fort Hood shooting.

In that attack, 13 people were killed and 32 people wounded when U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Hassan opened fire on the Soldier Readiness Processing Center at the base.

Ten Purple Hearts were awarded posthumously for those killed in the attack, and 26 to those wounded.

Federal officials are still trying to determine if Abdulazeez had been "radicalized" to attack the Armed Forces Recruiting Center and Navy Operational Support Center.

Law enforcement officials told NBC that acknowledgedAbdulazeez had downloaded recordings of Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-Yemeni cleric killed by a 2011 drone strike in Yemen who advocated domestic attacks against Americans.

Staff writer James K. Sanborn contributed to this report. 

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