DETECTIVES have launched a probe into how a man got hold of the gun he used to murder his mother before shooting himself.

Police revealed yesterday the firearm Mark Tyler, 37, used to shoot his mum, Maureen, 79, was not licensed to him or anyone else.

It also emerged the bodies of Mark and Maureen could have lain dead at the family home in Pitsea View Road, Crays Hill, for up to two weeks.

Now the hunt is on to find the gun’s origins. An Essex Police spokesman said: “A firearm was recovered from the property which was not licensed.

“Inquiries are ongoing as to where that weapon came from.”

Yesterday specialist police officers carried out a fingertip search of bushes and farmland in the rural cul-de-sac.

It is understood the search was part of a routine murder investigation and officers were not looking for anything specific.

Two police officers in a squad car continued to guard the outside of the bungalow, which remains cordoned off, although the cordon blocking access to Pitsea View Road, has now been lifted.

A post mortem examination on the bodies of Mrs Tyler and her son confirmed gunshot wounds to be the cause of death.

Detectives probing the events are keen to hear from anyone who has been in the area in the past two weeks, as they continue to piece together exactly what happened, and when the pair died.

Senior Investigating Officer Det Chief Insp Lucy Robinson, of the Kent and Essex Serious and Organised Crime Directorate, said: “It is still unclear when Maureen and Mark Tyler died.

“Inquiries are ongoing in order to ascertain the sequence of events which led to their respective deaths.

“With this in mind, we’re looking to speak with anyone who has been along Pitsea View Road, Gardiners Lane North, or the surrounding area, since the end of August, or the first week of September.”

Two small bunches of flowers have been left at the gatepost of Mrs Tyler’s home, called Maybe.

One tribute read: “Rest in peace, now you are with Mick. This should not have happened, you did not deserve it. Carol.”

Another simply read: “Dearest Maureen, sleep well, love Lisa, Keith and kids.”

Police uncovered the tragedy when concerned neighbours called officers on Monday having not seen Maureen for days.

Mrs Tyler had lived in Crays Hill for several years and previously worked at Hemmings Stores in the village.

Her son, a former Billericay School pupil who also lived in Carlisle Way, Pitsea, was well known to police as a prolific shoplifter and heroin addict.

His mother is understood to have tried to help him beat his addiction.

Anyone with information about the murder can contact detectives at Brentwood’s Major Investigation Team on 101, e-mail SCDappeals@ or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.