Rocker 'DIMEBAG' DARRELL ABBOTT was not killed because he split with his former band Pantera, according to American police.

The guitarist was shot dead while performing onstage at the Alrosa Villa club in Columbus, Ohio, with new band DAMAGEPLAN last December (04) by deranged fan Nathan Gale, who also killed four gig-goers before being fatally shot by armed police.

It was initially thought Gale was enraged by a dispute between Abbott and former Pantera bandmate Phil Anselmo, which contributed to the break-up of the metal band.

But a 627-page investigation file written by Columbus Detective William Gillette reveals, "There is no evidence leading detectives to believe Nathan Gale was communicating with Phil Anselmo or any other individual... in an effort to hurt Dimebag Darrell Abbott."

A search of Gale's home also revealed no magazines or CDs associated with either band or their musicians.

Only a Damageplan CD was found in the stereo in the car Gale drove to the gig.

Police reports of the incident also reveal concert-goers aided Gale to sneak into the venue without paying, by helping him scale a wooden fence surrounding the Alrosa Villa Club.