Manhunt for Berlin attacker continues; police treating assault as act of terrorism
The manhunt for perpetrators of the attack on Christmas market in Berlin at killed at least 12 continues as Germany officials said they cannot rule out that suspects involved could still be at large.
Peter Frank, the country’s top prosecutor, said Tuesday investigators are treating the attack on the market outside Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church that also seriously injured more than 50 as an act of terrorism, though no group has claimed responsibility yet.
He said the suspect in custody – identified as a Pakistani asylum-seeker who has denied any involvement – “may not have been the perpetrator or belong to the group of perpetrators.”
The announcement comes just hours after police sources told the country’s Die Welt newspaper that they had the “wrong man” and that the true perpetrator “is still armed, at large and can cause fresh damage.”
Frank said the method used in the rampage was reminiscent of July’s truck attack in Nice, France, and of the new “modius operandi” used my Islamic extremist groups.
Holger Muench, head of Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office, said they have not yet found a pistol believed used to kill the truck’s passenger.
For those reasons, he said, we are “naturally on high alert and are investigating in all directions.”
Six out of the 12 people killed have been identified and are all Germans, but he does not yet know whether the other six are as well, Muench added.
Berlin police urged people to remain “particularly vigilant” and to report “suspicious movement” to a special hotline.