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

It was not clear whether the incident was an attack

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.

German police said on Sunday they did not see an extremist motive behind a ramming attack with a van that claimed two lives and placed the driver's mental health issues in the foreground.

He was shot dead by Italian police in Milan four days later while on the run.

Authorities say they don't know the motive behind the suspect's crash but assume he acted alone.

And in Spain, the jihadists also claimed a rampage along Barcelona's Las Ramblas boulevard in August 2017 that killed 14 and left more than 100 injured.

"I heard a loud, boring noise and suddenly everyone started shouting", a witness, Steffen Simonsen, told Germany's ARD broadcaster. The report said police were searching his apartment.

The premier of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Armin Laschet, was also present, and said that Saturday had been "a disgusting, tragic day for the people of Münster". The law enforcement agencies added: "The investigations are being conducted at full speed and in all directions".

Saturday's crash occurred on the one-year anniversary of a similar attack in Stockholm, Sweden, when a stolen beer truck struck pedestrians, killing five people.

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In a joint statement with police, prosecutor Martin Botzenhardt wrote Sunday that, "as of now, we don't have any leads regarding a possible background for the deed".

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

The man who drove his van into a crowd in western Germany on Saturday was a German citizen with psychological problems and with ties to far-right groups, local media reported on Sunday.

Police also said they found a suspicious object in the van that they were examining to see if it was risky.

The local daily Muenstersche Zeitung reported that the perpetrator had vaguely announced his suicide plans a week ago in an email to friends, but police would not confirm the details.

It happened as people were eating outside a restaurant in the city's historic centre just before 3.30pm on Saturday afternoon.

Muenster is a popular tourist destination with 300,000 inhabitants, known for its medieval old town, which was rebuilt after the massive destruction during World War II. Police quickly evacuated the area and ambulances, firefighters and helicopters rushed to the scene to aid those who were injured.

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