German police say Muenster attacker acted alone, had no political motive

Hannah Rogers
April 9, 2018

The city's senior public prosecutor said the 48-year-old perpetrator, who hasn't been named, had previously faced charges for harassment, property damage and fraud.

Authorities have said the man was a German citizen and that there was "no indication of an Islamist background", but investigators have not said what motivated the attack.

German news agency dpa says several people killed after vehicle crashes into crowd in city of Muenster.

Police are searching four different apartments owned by the man.

Germany has been on especially high alert for jihadist attacks after several claimed by the Islamic State group.

The horrific crash came on the one year anniversary of the Stockholm terror attack in which a hijacked lorry killed five people and seriously injured a dozen more.

Daniel Kollenberg, who witnessed the aftermath, told the BBC: "I think it is a deliberate attack because it's not allowed for cars to go in this area".

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The premier of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Armin Laschet, was also present, and said that Saturday had been "a frightful, tragic day for the people of Münster". "Investigations are being conducted at full speed and covering all possible directions".

Germany is still clueless about the motive behind deadly van crash into people drinking outside a popular bar in Muenster. "Everything possible is being done to investigate the act and support the victims and their families".

German media reports also said the man had mental health problems - something state authorities have not confirmed or denied. What makes this story take a weird turn is that the driver of the vehicle shot and killed himself inside it.

"The van is not at the crime scene anymore, all kinds of objects have also been removed, waste of course, as well as evidence that we've found on the ground", police spokeswoman Susanne Dirkorte told The Associated Press. It showed pictures of where police had cordoned off an area of the city.

Police during a search found a weapon - a Kalashnikov.

The city was buzzing on Saturday - one of the first warm spring days of the year - and people were sitting outside the famous Kiepenkerl pub when the 48-year-old German drove his van into the bar's tables with such a vengeance that the vehicle only stopped when it hit the pub's wall. Police quickly evacuated the area and ambulances, firefighters and helicopters rushed to the scene to aid those who were injured.

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