BERLIN: German police have begun searching a shelter for migrants in western Germany where a Tunisian man suspected of involvement in the truck attack in Berlin is believed to have lived, a newspaper said on Wednesday.
Rheinische Post said the shelter is in the town of Emmerich, which lies some 140 kilometres (87 miles) north of the city of Cologne, near the border with the Netherlands.
German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere confirmed Wednesday that authorities have identified a new suspect in the deadly truck attack on a Christmas market in Berlin.
“There is a new suspect we are searching for — he is a suspect but not necessarily the assailant,” the minister told reporters.
He declined to immediately confirm numerous media reports that the suspect was a Tunisian asylum seeker with links to extremists.
However, a conservative lawmaker at the same news conference, Stephan Meyer, said the suspect was in fact from Tunisia and being watched by police.
Media reports said asylum office papers believed to belong to the Tunisian man were found in the cab of the 40-tonne lorry used in the attack that killed 12 people.
Germany this year moved to declare Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia as safe countries of origin, to raise the bar for asylum requests after last year´s record influx of around 890,000 people.
But the bill has been stuck in the upper house for months over human rights concerns in those countries.
On Tuesday evening police released a Pakistani asylum-seeker who was arrested near the scene shortly after Monday´s attack and authorities warned the attacker is on the run and may be armed.
12 people were killed and 48 injured when a truck tore through a busy Christmas market in Berlin on Monday, in scenes reminiscent of July’s deadly attack in the French Riviera city of Nice.
Militant group Daesh claimed responsibility of the terrorist attack through its news outlet Amaq.