Ich fand auch sämtliche Briefe, die er meiner Mutter je geschrieben hatte.

What is the difference between saying “sämtliche” and just saying “alle”?

It’s more or less the same. There are cases where sämtliche is better. In this sentence i would prefer sämtliche. I think this sämtliche is used when there is a specific group and all of the subjects belong to this group.
But to tell the truth i’m not 100% sure, because i have never explicitly learned those words.

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