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German police try to work out motive for Muenster attack

It was not clear whether the incident was an attack

The security authorities said that on that basis and after a deadly van rampage on Saturday in the western German city of Muenster, they chose to mount the raids against the suspects.

Authorities searched flats and two vehicles and said the investigation is still ongoing.

The 48-year-old German man, believed to be the sole perpetrator in Saturday's attack, has been identified as Jens R, who was reportedly an industrial designer. He says, "this was a awful and sad day for the people of Muenster, all of Germany ... and also the people of The Netherlands, who were sitting here and became victims". "We wish the injured a quick recovery". Reuters relays word from German newspaper Die Walt, which writes that authorities detained four men with knives under suspicion that they planned to cause mayhem and death within the crowd of race spectators and competitors. "And the police arrived and everyone was sent out", he said.

BERLIN (AP) - Six people were detained in connection with what police and prosecutors allege was a plan to carry out an extremist attack on Berlin's half-marathon Sunday, German authorities said. He then shot himself dead. He said the driver's identity was not yet known.

Police are focusing on his apparent mental health problems as they investigate the incident.

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"This was a awful and sad day for the people of Munster, all of Germany. and also the people of the Netherlands, who were sitting here and became victims", he said.

Officials said some of the 20 people injured were still in a life-threatening condition Sunday.

A spokeswoman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel says "our thoughts are with the victims and their families" who were killed and injured when a vehicle crashed into a crowd in the western German city of Muenster. She described the incident Saturday "terrible news". "It is one of the most peaceful cities I know", he said. Muenster prosecutor Elke Adomeit told reporters on Sunday that there had been three court hearings involving the deceased van driver in the city, as well as one in the town of Arnsberg, in 2015 and 2016, Die Welt reported.

Armed police cordoned off a wide area around the scene of the attack Saturday, urging residents to avoid the city center to allow investigators to get to work amid initial fears the country had suffered an extremist assault. It is located in the historical part of the city.

Emergency services vehicles rushed to the scene and a police helicopter hovered above the historic town about 300 miles west of the capital Berlin.

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