Responding to fan backlash over the failure to expose the culprit in its first edition, showrunner Veena Sud announced in January that the mystery will be resolved in the show's second season finale.
Speaking to TV Guide, AMC exec Joel Stillerman admitted the decision was made after they "underestimated the hunger for closure" among The Killing fans in season one.
"When the series was launching, we made a very conscious decision not to tell people when the mystery was going to resolve because that just seemed counterintuitive," he said.
"I think if people had known, I'm not sure how they would have responded to the series in the first place. We underestimated the hunger for closure on that show, and the combination of how we chose to tell the story and how we chose to market it... The first thing we did was say, 'Here's when you're going to find out. Hopefully that won't impact your ability to enjoy the show'."
Stillerman brushed off suggestions that the spoiler has removed the element of surprise from The Killing, predicting that viewers will still "enjoy the ride".
"If people had said, 'You're going to find out what happened to Lisbeth Salander at the end of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo', would you not read the book?" he asked.
"This has always been a show that's been aimed at the people that really like the crime drama genre and for them, we tried something different. I hope they'll be back and I hope they'll enjoy the ride."
The Killing returns to AMC Sunday, April 1 at 8/7c.
> 'The Killing' Mireille Enos: 'The stakes jump 500%'