German gunman ‘not motivated by racism’

German federal police investigators believe the attacker who carried out a deadly shooting spree in Hanau last month was not primarily motivated by racism, local media reports say.

The suspect, who has been identified only as Tobias R, reportedly chose his victims with the aim of attracting the most attention possible for his conspiracy theories involving secret service surveillance.

He did not go through a “typical right-wing extremist radicalisation,” the broadcasters WDR and NDR, and the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper reported.

A federal prosecution spokesman declined to comment on Monday, saying that investigations are ongoing.

Tobias R shot dead nine people of foreign descent during the February 19 attack in the centre of Hanau.

The 43-year-old then returned home and killed himself and his 72-year-old mother.

He had disseminated woolly thoughts, abstruse conspiracy theories and xenophobic views online.

The reports suggest a change of focus by investigators.

Prosecution officials said from soon after the attack that there were “serious indications of a racist motivation”.

According to the media reports, the investigators believe that racism did not dominate the suspect’s ideology.

Rather, they say, he was caught up in conspiracy theories related to intelligence services and suffered from paranoia.–spt.html

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