German Cops Stage Manhunt for Tunisian Truck Suspect
Original driver tried to fight off the killer, say police
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 21, 2016 4:32 AM CST
Updated Dec 21, 2016 6:12 AM CST
From right: German President Joachim Gauck, Chancellor Angela Merkel, and other politicians attend a memorial service in Berlin's Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church on Tuesday.   (Michael Kappeler)
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(Newser) – Investigators have a new suspect in the Berlin truck attack, say German newspapers. Der Spiegel reports that police found the identity papers of a 21-year-old Tunisian man in the truck's cab. The documents show that his bid for full asylum had been rejected, but that he was still allowed to stay in Germany. Two other German newspapers report the same, and the Washington Post says a manhunt is underway. “We have a strong lead at the moment and our officers are out on the street," a senior investigator tells the Post. The development comes after police released a Pakistani man detained near the scene because they could find no evidence or witnesses linking him to the attack. ISIS has claimed responsibility in the assault, which left 12 dead and 48 injured.

Berlin Mayor Michael Mueller said Wednesday that people should remain vigilant and that it was "good to see that Berliners aren't being intimidated," the AP reports. "I don't think there's any need to be afraid," he told ZDF television. "The police presence has been significantly heightened ... and of course other measures taken to find the perpetrator quickly." Mueller argued that there are limits to increasing security. The BBC reports that investigators believe the Polish man who was the original driver of the truck fought desperately with the attacker, despite having been stabbed, and was shot dead when the truck came to a halt after plowing through the crowd.

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