German prosecutors close probe of racist shootings of 9

December 16, 2021 GMT

BERLIN (AP) — German prosecutors said Thursday they have closed an investigation into a racist attack in the town of Hanau last year after finding no evidence that the gunman who killed nine people with immigrant backgrounds had any accomplices.

The attacker, Tobias Rathjen, shot the victims in downtown cafes and bars on Feb. 19, 2020, before killing his mother and then himself.

The rampage in the town near Frankfurt caused widespread shock in Germany. The attacker left behind a paranoid rant filled with conspiracy tropes and vitriol against migrants.

Federal prosecutors said Thursday they have closed an investigation against persons unknown that they launched to determine whether anyone else was involved in or knew about the attack.

They said the probe turned up no evidence that the gunman’s father was involved in any criminally relevant way or knew about his son’s plans before the attack.

The investigation also didn’t find evidence of a “participation of further people as accomplices, instigators, helpers or confidants,” prosecutors said.

The prosecutors said they questioned over 400 witnesses and reviewed hundreds of pieces of evidence.