A manhunt is under way for an “armed and dangerous” Tunisian man with ties to Islamic extremists who has been identified as a suspect in the Berlin lorry attack which left 12 dead.
Anis Amri was identified by Tunisian officials as the man being sought by German police across the country and the wider border-free area of the European Union.
Interior minister Thomas de Maiziere said Amri was suspected of involvement in the terrorist outrage but was not necessarily the man who drove the hijacked lorry into a crowded Christmas market in the German capital.
Officials said Amri was already considered a terror threat.
The authorities are offering up to 100,000 euros for information leading to his arrest.
Documents showed he used six different names, under three different nationalities, and had an asylum claim rejected in July.
German media reported that Amri had not been deported because Tunisia initially claimed he was not a citizen and he did not have the correct papers to be repatriated.
Investigators said he had used six different names, under three different nationalities.
His identity documents were found under the driver’s seat of the lorry which ploughed into a Christmas market on Monday.
A police operation was taking place in Emmerich, close to the Netherlands border in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
On Tuesday night the so-called Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack which also injured 50.
Eleven people died when the articulated lorry careered through huts and stalls at the market near Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, along with a Polish man found shot dead inside the lorry’s cab.
Six of the 12 victims have been identified as German.
A 23-year-old Pakistani asylum seeker was detained and released because of a lack of evidence in the aftermath of the attack in the German capital.
The authorities have said the ‘’modus operandi’’ of the attack had echoes of July’s atrocity in Nice in which 86 people died.