New Details About Munich Shooter Point Toward A Lone-Wolf Attack, Not Terrorism
A teenage boy walked into a busy Munich shopping mall on Friday and opened fire, killing nine people and injuring nearly 30 others. The gunman reportedly died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Most of the victims of the shooting were young, and a majority of them were teenagers. German authorities have yet to publicly identify the gunman, but they have released new details about the Munich shooter on Saturday that may help investigators piece together a motive for the attack.
In a press conference Saturday, German authorities confirmed that the shooter was just 18 years old. Although his name has not been released, police officials identified the gunman as a Munich-born national with dual German-Iranian citizenship.
CNN reported that the Munich shooter acted alone, and officials have said there's no connection between the shooter and the Islamic State. However, foreign media, including BBC News, reported Saturday that German authorities are not ruling out terrorism.
According to the BBC, Angela Merkel's chief of staff, Peter Altmaier, told German national television that the German government "cannot rule out that it is linked to terrorism but we can't confirm it either." Security measures in Germany have been increased.
Yet German authorities still claimed Saturday that the deadly mass shooting was likely a lone-wolf attack. The signs point toward mental illness and an obsession with violence, rather than a political or religious motivation, police officials said.
Munich Police Chief Hubertus Andrae told reporters during Saturday's news conference that no evidence connecting the suspect to ISIS or another terrorist organization was found during a search of the suspect's apartment. However, police did discover that the Munich shooter researched other mass shootings. ""He was very intensely interested in that subject," Andrae told reporters, via NPR.
German Interior Minster Thomas Demaiziere added to reporters that the young gunman was obsessed with recent European mass shooting in which mostly young people were killed. The interior minister added: "There was material found in the apartment of the suspect that showed a particular interest in shooting sprees." He also reiterated that no link to terrorism has been found.
On Saturday, it was also revealed that the Munich shooter hacked into a woman's Facebook page to post a fake McDonald's offer to lure people to the site of the attack. "It appears it was prepared by the suspect and then sent out," police investigator Robert Hemberger told reporters, via The Independent.
The Munich shooting occurred the same day as the 2011 Norway attacks, in which Anders Behring Breivik carried out several lone-wolf massacres, including a mass shooting at a summer camp. German authorities believe the Norway attacks may have some significance with this latest shooting, and are looking into the Munich shooter's mental health as they move forward with the investigation.