Shoppers aren't the only ones surprised by today's events. Local law enforcement just found out about the plot as well.
This was strictly a federal investigation. That means the FBI did not alert Cherry Valley police until after they arrested Derrick Shareef on Wednesday.
Cherry Valley Police Chief Gary Maitland says he understands that. Had the FBI warned them they might have altered the way they operate and tipped off the suspect.
The chief also says he doesn't think these events will change the way police protect the stateline's largest shopping center. The department always sends extra officers to the mall during the holiday season and tells them to be on heightened alert for suspicious behavior.
Chief Maitland says of shoppers: "They're as safe at CherryVale Mall as they have always been. I think that this is a type of situation, a type of investigation and finally an arrest that could have occurred anywhere it's just happenstance that it occured here."
Chief Maitland says now that Shareef is in custody the danger is over and it's time to get back to business and shopping as usual... or as usual as it can be.