Six people were injured, three of them severely, when a motorist drove into a number of vehicles along a stretch of the German capital’s motorway in a black Opel Astra.
“According to the current state of our investigation, this was an Islamist-motivated attack,” the local prosecutor’s office said.
The 30-year-old man detained by police officials is Iraqi, according to Germany’s DPA agency. There were also indications that the man was suffering from psychological problems.
Berlin’s attorney general, Margarete Koppers, is expected to inform the city’s legal committee about investigators’ initial findings later on Wednesday.
Investigators earlier cited possible “religious” motivations for the incident, according to Germany’s Bild newspaper. One local prosecution official said the incident was a suspected “Islamist” act.
Local media reported that the man later stopped on the highway and put a box on the roof of his car, claiming it had explosives inside. Specialists opened the box and found only tools.
The man shouted “Allahu Akbar” or “God is great” as he got out of his car, according to local media. Police and prosecutors would not confirm reports of claims or shouts made by the man.
Detained by police, the man is now being investigated for attempted murder.
The series of crashes led to the complete closure of one of the main traffic arteries of Berlin, and long traffic jams continued into Wednesday.
Some 300 people were stuck on the highway for hours and were getting support from the German Red Cross, the Berlin fire department tweeted on Tuesday night.
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