Police still searching for motive of man behind van crash

"We wish we were able to console them".

Armed Police officers are seen at the scene when several people were killed and injured when a auto ploughed into pedestrians in Muenster, western Germany on April 7, 2018.

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


Within an hour, the University Hospital had suspended its appeal for blood donors because so many people had come forward. He, Laschet and Reul laid flowers in central Muenster and paid their respects to the victims of the attack. He stressed that the investigation was at an early stage but said "at the moment, nothing speaks for there being any Islamist background".

"We have to wait, and we are investigating in all directions", he said.

Local police said they were on the scene and emergency services were attending to the injured.

Police said some of the 20 injured persons were still in life-threatening condition, but did not release further details on their identities.

The man who drove a vehicle into a group of people sitting outside a restaurant in Germany yesterday was known to police.

Merkel said she is "in constant contact" with Interior Minister Horst Seehofer and other in Muenster.

On the other hand, the Associated Press reported that according to a police spokesperson, media reports on perpetrator having psychological issues too have not been confirmed.

The man was believed to be a German citizen, he said.

The driver of the van was not identified by name. "That is our current task", Mr Bode said.

Ms Adomeit went on to say there was no indication the perpetrator had any political motives for the attack.

"I'm shocked to find out about the awful incident in Muenster", he said. Our sympathy is with the relatives of those who were killed.

The suspect killed two people at the Grosser Kiepenkerl restaurant in the old town of the city in the northwestern region of North Rhine-Westphalia.

The 48-year-old German driver identified as Jens R. shot himself dead immediately after the rampage. His identity is not yet known. "And the police arrived and everyone was sent out", he said. They said the main suspect was planning to killed participants and spectators with knives.

An SCC spokesperson told dpa news agency that "everything had gone smoothly" during the race.

Muenster Mayor Markus Lewe says the reason for the crash is still unclear. He then shot himself dead.

Meanwhile, investigators are still trying to establish the motive for the ramming. They have urged people in Muenster to avoid the city's downtown area.

A police spokeswoman said: "The danger is over".

The incident happened at around 3.30pm local time (4.30pm GMT) on Saturday afternoon. NPR's Esme Nicholson says the incident was in the city's historic center.

Der Spiegel reported that police were investigating a similar incident that occurred in the eastern German city of Cottbus on Friday evening, when a man drove his auto into a group of people, injuring two, before fleeing. It is located in the historical part of the city.

With AP Photos.Daily Die Welt is reporting that police have foiled an attack on a half-marathon in Berlin.

  • Aubrey Nash