The Lattice Strong Dynamics collaboration is investigating the properties of a SU(3) gauge theory with $N_f = 8$ light fermions on the lattice. We measure the masses of the lightest pseudoscalar, scalar and vector states using simulations with the nHYP staggered-fermion action on large volumes and at small fermion masses, reaching $M_\rho/M_\pi \approx 2.2$. The axial-vector meson and the nucleon are also studied for the same range of fermion masses. One of the interesting features of this theory is the dynamical presence of a light flavor-singlet scalar state with $0^++$ quantum numbers that is lighter than the vector resonance and has a mass consistent with the one of the pseudoscalar state for the whole fermion mass range explored. We comment on the existence of such state emerging from our lattice simulations and on the challenges of its analysis. Moreover we highlight the difficulties in pursuing simulations in the chiral regime of this theory using large volumes.