Police stumped by motives of Germany van attacker

Published April 8, 2018, 9:00 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Agence France-Presse

German investigators were puzzling Sunday over the motives of a man who drove a van into a crowd at an open-air restaurant the day before, killing two people before shooting himself dead.

The Saturday afternoon attack was inflicted as locals and tourists had been enjoying a sunny spring day, (AFP photo)
The Saturday afternoon attack was inflicted as locals and tourists had been enjoying a sunny spring day, (AFP photo)

“So far there are no clues to a possible motive for the act,” said Martin Botzenhardt, senior prosecutor in the western city of Muenster where the attack happened, in a statement.

“We are pressing hard on our investigation into all possible avenues.”

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer and North Rhine-Westphalia state premier Armin Laschet were to hold a press conference at 1215 local time (1015 GMT).

Authorities were near-certain that there was no Islamist connection to the violence in the historic centre of Muenster as had initially been feared. On Sunday they said they believed the driver had acted alone.

Media reports said the 48-year-old German driver, identified only as Jens R., had a history of mental health problems.

The two victims killed were a 51-year-old woman and a 65-year-old man, both from northern Germany.

As well as the dead, police said 20 were injured — some life-threateningly — amid the broken and upturned tables and chairs seen strewn across the pavement. The Dutch foreign ministry said two of those hurt were Dutch, one of whom was in a critical condition.

In the van, police found the gun used by the driver to kill himself, a blank-firing pistol and some powerful fireworks.

A search of the man’s Muenster apartment late Saturday turned up more fireworks and a deactivated AK47 assault rifle.

Police have appealed to the public for information, setting up a website where people can upload photos and videos.

 
CLICK HERE TO SIGN-UP
 

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

["news"]
[2495485,2814292,2534630,2485825,2408462,2358243,2358052,2344118,2339143,2047660,1998697,996820,995332,995948,995006,994327,994303,993947,993860,993770,993529,993383,993285,798318,2920167,2920160,2920153,2920163,2919737,2920173]