In the early evening of yesterday, a man drove a truck into Berlin’s Christmas markets killing 12 people and injuring an additional 48.
It wasn’t long before the police were claiming that the incident looked like it was a terror attack.
Late last night a man was arrested under suspicion of driving the seven-tonne truck and identified as a 23-year-old Pakistani asylum seeker who had sought refuge in the German capital, reports Sky News.
However in the past few hours, the President of Berlin Police, Klaus Kandt, has claimed they are now unsure if the man arrested was the driver of the vehicle at the time of the attack.
BREAKING: Berlin police chief: Officials uncertain whether they have correct suspect in truck attack.
— The Associated Press (@AP) December 20, 2016
He added that the suspect in custody had denied the offence and that the actual attacker may still be at large in the capital – armed and dangerous.
President of Berlin police Klaus Kandt says "unclear" if arrested suspect was indeed the driver of the vehicle
— Philip Oltermann (@philipoltermann) December 20, 2016
Berlin Police also sent out a tweet warning the public to be alert.
The temporary arrested suspect denies the offense.
Therefore we are particulary alert.
Please be also alert.#Breitscheidplatz
— PolizeiBerlinEinsatz (@PolizeiBerlin_E) December 20, 2016
Kandt’s claims were later echoed by Germany’s top federal prosecutor, Peter Frank, who said:
A senior police source is also reported as saying: “We have the wrong man and therefore a new situation. The true perpetrator is still armed, at large and can cause fresh damage,” while another police chief, Munch, added that the city is on high alert.
He told press:
We need to work on the assumption that an armed perpetrator is still on the loose. As a result of this we are on high alert.
He later added:
Currently we have one suspect but we are not sure whether he is the perpetrator and we don’t know whether there is only one. We have not found the weapon and that leads us to being in a high state of alert. Our investigations are ongoing to see whether there are other perpetrators that we need to arrest.
Angela Merkel has since visited the scene of the attack where she laid a wreath.
More to follow
Joseph Loftus is a Gold Standard NCTJ journalist with four years experience working for international and regional press.
As well as working for UNILAD and LADbible, Joseph has worked as Liverpool Correspondent for Unsigned & Independent Magazine, as well as stints with the Liverpool Echo and Warrington Guardian.