BERLIN (AA): The prime suspect of a deadly attack on a Christmas market in Berlin was shot dead by police in Italy on Friday, officials confirmed.
Germany’s chief federal prosecutor told reporters that fingerprints sent by German officials to their Italian counterparts identified the dead man as Anis Amri, the main suspect in Monday’s attack that killed 12 people and injured nearly 50 others in central Berlin.
Amri, a 24-year-old asylum seeker from Tunisia, was killed in a shootout at Sesto San Giovanni district in Milan after he was stopped by police.
Italian news agency ANSA reported that Amri pulled a gun from his bag instead of showing his identity to the police and was shot dead after opening fire.
Italian daily Corriere della Sera reported that a train ticket found on the dead body of Amri revealed he had traveled to Italy from France.
It was not immediately clear how he travelled to France after the attack in Berlin.
Germany’s chief federal prosecutor Peter Frank underlined that the German authorities would continue their investigation despite the death of the prime suspect, and would focus on possible accomplices.
“For us now it is of great importance to find out if the suspect is supported by a network in preparations, during the crime and afterwards while escaping, and we want to find out if he had some confidants or accomplices,” he told a news conference in Berlin.
The Daesh terror group on Tuesday claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement widely traded on social media platforms.
Frank said the German and Italian authorities were trying to identify whether the pistol Amri used against police in Milan is the same weapon used during the attack in Berlin.
German police believe the suspect or suspects killed the original driver of the truck used in the attack, before driving it into crowds at the Christmas market.
The truck was stolen from a Polish company, and its original driver, a Polish citizen, was found dead in the vehicle.
Amri was known to German police for several minor offences as well as for alleged connections to extremist groups, according to local media reports.
He arrived in Germany from Italy in late 2015, but his asylum request was not accepted by German authorities.
After finding his fingerprints and identity document in the cab of the truck, German police had issued a European arrest warrant for Amri.
*Anadolu Agency correspondent Baris Seckin contributed to this report from Rome.
Muhabir Ayhan Şimşek
[Photo: A general view of Piazza I Maggio on December 23, 2016 in Sesto San Giovanni, Italy. Anis Amri, the main suspect in the recent Berlin Christmas market attack in which 12 people were killed and dozens injured, was shot dead by Italian police.
Photographer: Muhabiri Marco Tacca/AA]