Muenster Restaurant Attack: German police to investigate motive for fatal van attack

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The man who drove a van into a group of people sitting outside a restaurant in Germany killing two victims in the process before shooting himself is a lone attacker with mental problems, authorities have revealed.

The German news agency dpa has quoted police as saying the driver of that auto in Muenster has killed himself.

Die Welt said the four suspects were linked to Anis Amri, a Tunisian man with Islamist militant ties who killed 12 people in an attack in Berlin in December 2016 when he hijacked a truck and drove it into a crowded marketplace.

However, investigators found no signs of a political motive in their initial searches of the apartments and of several cars and a container belonging to the man, Kuhlisch said.

"Nothing indicates at the moment that there's an Islamist background", Reul said. "But he was well known to the police".

Local media have described the 48-year-old as a psychologically instable man.

He was previously accused of fraud and a hit-and-run as well as making threats and damaging property - but all charges were dismissed.

Those killed have been identified as a 51-year-old woman from Lueneburg county, around 180 miles to the northeast, and a 65-year-old man from nearby Borken county. Their names weren't given as is customary in Germany.

Early on Sunday, all three bodies were taken from the crash scene in front of the well-known Kiepenkerl pub.

After smashing into crowds of people, Mr Handeln is believed to have shot himself dead.

Two people were killed when the driver mowed down dozens before killing himself.


Inside the apartment where the man was living, which was near the crash scene, police found more firecrackers and a "no-longer usable AK-47 machine gun".

Of the injured, some were in life-threatening condition.

Authorities have not identified the injured in the crash Saturday in the western German city but a German security official says people from The Netherlands are among them.

Flowers, candles and signs were left by people at the scene.

Armin Laschet, the governor of North Rhine-Westphalia state where Muenster is located, toured the city Sunday.

He didn't elaborate on how many Dutch were injured or how serious those injuries were.

German daily Die Welt reports that police think the foiled plot involved attacking spectators and participants at Sunday's race with knives.

Muenster, a major university city, has about 300,000 residents and an attractive medieval city center that was rebuilt after World War II.

The vehicle, a grey VW van, crashed into pedestrians at the Kiepenkerl restaurant in Munster's main square on Saturday, as the city experienced an unusual flux of visitors due to high temperatures.