He was being investigated over an attempted murder, one of the sources said.
Several areas neighbouring the Christmas market were sealed off on Tuesday night and residents were being told to stay indoors.Many people took refuge in local restaurants and bars which pulled down their shutters.”We let everyone inside, down into the wine cellar. They re locked in there,” local restaurant owner Mouad, 33, told AFP.A police source, again speaking on condition of anonymity, said security forces had opened fire in an area of the city where the suspect was thought to be hiding.The source did not give the address and it was unclear if the shooter had been located.Specialist anti-terror prosecutors have opened an investigation into the incident in Strasbourg, which lies on the border with Germany.Several residents of the city have been detained in recent years for trying to reach jihadist groups in Syria, or have been arrested upon their return.”Shocked and saddened by the terrible attack in Strasbourg. My thoughts are with all of those affected and with the French people,” British Prime Minister Theresa May wrote on Twitter.The Strasbourg-based European Parliament was also on lockdown, with MEPs, staff and journalists unable to leave the building.In a parliament bar usually reserved for MEPs, EU commissioners, powerful legislators and staffers huddled in small groups waiting for developments.”Our first thought was for colleagues who had already made it to the centre of town, who are safe,” Belgian MEP Kathleen Van Brempt told AFP. “Now we just wait.”The Christmas market in Strasbourg and the city s illuminations are an annual attraction that draws hundreds of thousands of people.Security has been stepped up in recent years after a series of attacks in France by Islamist gunmen and the Strasbourg market was long considered a possible target.In 2016, a 23-year-old Tunisian killed 12 and injured 48 others when he ploughed a truck into a Christmas market in Berlin in an attack claimed by the Islamic State group.Special anti-terror army units have been deployed in Strasbourg, and soldiers and armed police are regularly seen patrolling among the 300 wooden Christmas market chalets.Three years after groups of jihadists gunned down and blew up 130 people in Paris on November 13, 2015, French counter-terror officials say their focus has shifted.Rather than coordinated attacks, their main concern is attacks by “lone wolves” — self-radicalised individuals acting without links to terror groups such as Islamic State.Most recently a 20-year-old Chechnya-born man went on a knife rampage in central Paris last May, killing one man and injuring four other people on a Saturday night.A total of 246 people have been killed in terror attacks in France since 2015, according to an AFP toll.