HALLE, Germany (AP) — The Latest on the synagogue attack in Germany (all times local):
A German security official says the suspect in the synagogue attack in Halle was caught about 1½ hours after his assault started as he abandoned a stolen taxi following an accident involving a truck.
Holger Stahlknecht, the interior minister of Saxony-Anhalt state, said the suspect managed to drive out of Halle after killing two people following an exchange of shots with police that left him with a neck wound.
He abandoned his car in a small nearby town, where he shot and wounded two other people. He continued southward in a stolen taxi, and was arrested as he left that vehicle following the accident. Police also seized a webcam in the car that he had used to film his attack.
Stahlknecht said the suspect wasn’t on authorities’ radar before Wednesday.
He said police arrived at the synagogue seven minutes after they were alerted to the shooting, but acknowledged that in such a situation “seven minutes feel like seven weeks.”
A German prosecutor says the suspect in the attack in the German city of Halle wanted to carry out a “massacre” in a synagogue and had about four kilograms (nearly nine pounds) of explosives in his car.
Germany’s chief federal prosecutor Peter Frank says that many questions remain about the suspect who is now in custody, a German citizen identified as Stephan B.
Investigators still have to determine how he got hold of the material to build home-made weapons and explosives and whether anyone else knew of his plans.
Frank told reporters in Karlsruhe that “what we experienced yesterday was terror.” He said that the suspect wanted to create a “worldwide effect” by livestreaming his attack, in which two people were killed outside the synagogue. He wanted to encourage others to imitate him.
Stephan B. is suspected of two counts of murder and nine of attempted murder.
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has laid flowers outside the synagogue that was attacked in the city of Halle.
He has met with community representatives, the first of several officials who were due to visit.
Before the visit, the head of Germany’s Jewish community, Josef Schuster, was sharply critical of the lack of a police presence outside the synagogue.
Top German officials are heading to the scene of an attack on a synagogue in the city of Halle, seeking to reassure an unsettled Jewish community after members saw a man trying to break into their house of worship on Judaism’s holiest day.
The attack, in which two people were killed outside the synagogue and in a kebab shop, has stoked renewed concern about rising far-right extremism and questions about the police response.
Questions are being raised about police response after an attack on a synagogue in the German city of Halle after a gunman tried unsuccessfully to enter the house of worship during Yom Kippur observances and killed two people nearby.
The head of Germany’s Jewish community, Josef Schuster, called the absence of police guards as “scandalous” as members of the synagogue described waiting behind locked doors for the police to arrive, which took more than 10 minutes.
The head of the Halle community, Max Privorozki, said Thursday “I thought, that door will not hold” as the attacker fired shots outside. Police union head Oliver Malchow said the response time showed “how thin police coverage is” and added that the wait “was especially long for the people who were in the synagogue.”