German police identifies van attacker, victims
By Newsdesk with agency report
The German police has identified the driver of the van that ran into into crowd in the old town of western German city of Muenster on Saturday, killing two people and injured dozens before he shot himself.
Police also identified the two victims killed in the incident as a 51-year-old woman and a 65-year-old man.
The woman was from near Lueneburg in the north of the country, while the man was from Borken near Muenster.
The north-western city’s senior prosecutor, Martin Botzenhardt disclosed on Sunday the investigation so far suggested that the driver was “probably” a 48-year-old man from Munich.
Police were searching the driver’s accommodation near the central railway station of Muenster, since a suspicious object had been found in the van.
Botzenhardt said : “So far there are no indications of a possible background for the crime.The investigations are being conducted at full speed and on all fronts.”
Although officials have provided few details, the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung is reporting that the man lived just 2km (1.2 miles) from the restaurant.
The public broadcaster ZDF suggested he had links with far-right extremists, but said he was not known to be one himself. The report said police were searching his apartment.
German media reports also said the man had mental health problems – something state authorities have not confirmed or denied.
Botzenhardt said there are “no clues” pointing to a possible motive for Saturday’s van attack in Muenster.
They are investigating “all possible avenues”, he said.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed her deep shock about the attack, saying in a statement that “everything imaginable is now being done to make sure of the fact and to support the victims and their relatives”.
The motivation of the attack remained unclear, as the authority hadn’t clarified whether the attack was terror-related or not.
A vehicle, reportedly a grey VW van, was driven into a restaurant terrace area at 15:27 local time (13:27 GMT) on Saturday.
Eyewitnesses said it was driven at speed and photographs of the aftermath showed tables and chairs strewn across the popular tourist square.
An employee at one of the cafes told local media that she heard a bang and people screaming.
“I’m angry – it’s cowardly to do something like this,” she told German television channel N24.
The city, in Germany’s north west, has a population of about 300,000.