"If something bad should happen here, we don't want our response to start with, 'and law enforcement will be here and will protect you,'" Reynolds said. "We want to know what can be done before law enforcement gets here."
Preventing a return
The mall is in the suburbs of Minneapolis, home to a Somali-American community where some families have lamented the loss of young men who were enticed to Somalia to fight for Al-Shabaab, the group responsible for the Kenya attack.
The House Committee on Homeland Security reported in 2011 that an estimated 40 Americans have joined Al-Shabaab in the last few years, including 24 from Minneapolis.
And so, federal law enforcement are working with the Somali-American community in Minneapolis to try to prevent other Al-Shabaab recruits from returning to the United States and committing similar acts.
In the end, however, there is only so much precaution one can take, said Tom Fuentes, a law enforcement analyst for CNN.
"For the average American citizen, you go to the grocery store, you go to the gas station, you go to the shopping mall, and you go to a movie theater. You take walks in your neighborhood," he said.
"Anyone of those situations could make you vulnerable if other people or another person is out there determined to conduct an attack."