Manchester Arena attacker identified: Police know who carried out suicide bombing, says Theresa May

Prime Minister says it is too early in investigation to release attacker's name

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The Independent Online

Police have identified the Manchester Arena attacker but it is too early in the investigation to release his name, Theresa May has said.

“The police and security services believe they know the identity of the perpetrator but at this stage of their investigations we cannot confirm his name," the Prime Minister added.

“The police and emergency services have as always acted with great courage and on behalf of the country I want to express our gratitude to them - they acted in accordance with the plans they have in place and the exercises they conduct to test those plans and they performed with the utmost professionalism."

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Police were urging members of the public not to speculate on the terrorist's identity as the investigation continued.

At least 22 people were killed and 59 more injured in the blast, which the foyer between Manchester Arena and Victoria station as thousands of people flooded out of an Ariana Grande concert on Monday night.

There has been no official claim of responsibility for the atrocity, but both Isis and al-Qaeda have been calling for attacks on the West and issued bomb-making guides.

Ian Hopkins, the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, said investigators believe the attack was carried out by a lone suicide bomber “carrying” a homemade device.

“The priority is to establish whether he was acting alone or as part of a network,” he added.

“The attacker, I can confirm, died at the arena. We believe the attacker was carrying an improvised explosive device which he detonated causing this atrocity.”

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