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Face of Munich killer 'obsessed with shooting rampages'

Ali Sonboly
Ali Sonboly

This is the teenager who killed nine people and injured 27 in Munich in a frenzied gun attack yesterday.

However, there is no evidence that the gunman, who killed nine people and injured 27 in Munich, had links to Islamic State according to local police.

Born and raised in the German city, officials said the 18-year-old, named in reports as Ali Sonboly, acted alone when he went on a shooting spree at a shopping centre and fast-food restaurant on Friday.

They also revealed he used a 9mm pistol and had 300 rounds of ammunition in his rucksack when he went on what they called a "classic shooting rampage".

Police said the weapon was a Glock 17 handgun which had had its serial number illegally filed off and there were indications the gunman had been in psychiatric care and treated for depression.

They confirmed his room in the flat he was living in had been searched and that documents of "frenzied attacks" had been discovered.

Ten of those injured in the mass-shooting are said to be in a critical condition, including a 13-year-old boy.

Parts of the crime scene have now been cleared and released but police said it was too soon to say as to when the Olympic shopping centre would re-open

Officials said the attacker was not known to them and he had no criminal record.

Police investigator Robert Heimberger told a police press conference in Munich that it appeared the gunman had hacked a Facebook account and lured people to the shopping centre with an offer of free food.

The posting, sent from a young woman's account, urged people to come to the centre at 4pm, saying: "I'll give you something if you want, but not too expensive."

Mr Heimberger said: "It appears it was prepared by the suspect and then sent out."

Police gave a "cautious all clear" early on Saturday morning, more than seven hours after the attack began, and brought much of the city to a standstill as all public transit systems were shut down amid a massive manhunt.

They said a body found near the scene was that of the shooter and he appeared to have acted alone.

Munich police chief Hubertus Andrae told a news conference the suspect was a dual citizen from Munich and his motive was still "fully unclear".

Mr Andrae said the suspect's body was found about two-and-a-half hours after the attack and was identified to be the shooter based on witness statements and closed circuit television footage of the attack.

Witnesses had reported seeing three men with firearms near the Olympia Einkaufszentrum mall.

However, the police chief said two people who fled the area quickly were investigated but had "nothing to do with the incident".

Neighbours of the attacker told German media that he was a "quiet guy."

"He lived right next to me," German newspaper Bild quoted a neighbour as saying.

"A friend of mine went to school with him and said he was rather a quiet guy. He recognised him from the videos from the scene."

Police commandos, armed with night vision equipment and dogs, raided an apartment in the Munich neighbourhood of Maxvorstadt early on Saturday where Bild said the gunman lived with his parents.

Friday was also the fifth anniversary of the massacre in Norway by Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people. Breivik is a hero for far-right militants in Europe and America.

Thousands of people had been crowding the streets and squares in Munich's city centre on Friday for a beer festival.

"There were a few people who came running towards us who were screaming and in panic. But mostly it was surprisingly calm," said Elena Hakes, wearing a blue traditional dress, who had been with a friend in the Odeonsplatz square.

The incidents in Germany follow an attack in Nice, France, in which a Tunisian drove a truck into crowds celebrating Bastille Day, killing 84. Islamic State claimed responsibility.

The Munich assault was also reminiscent of militant attacks in a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2013, and in Mumbai, India, in 2008.

Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende said on Twitter: "Horrible killings in Munich. Taking place on the same day as we mourn & remember the appalling terror that hit Norway so hard five years ago."