Police have released a Pakistani refugee suspected of carrying out Monday’s attack on a busy German market in which 12 people died.
Police said they had found no evidence against him and instead are pursuing another line of inquiry: a Tunisian man whose identification permit was found under the driver’s seat in the lorry used to attack Christmas shoppers.
According to German newspapers Allgemeine Zeitung and Bild, the Tunisian is in his early twenties and is known to use several aliases. He applied for asylum in April and was given a temporary residence permit.
A manhunt in the North Rhine-Westphalia region, where the permit was issued, has begun.
Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack, although there is no evidence yet for this claim.
Yesterday Pope Francis expressed condolences to the victims and their families, calling for an end to terrorism.
In a telegram sent by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, to Archbishop Heiner Koch of Berlin, the Pope said he was praying for the families of the dead and wounded, “assuring his closeness in their pain”.
Cardinal Parolin said the Pope received news of the attack with "profound emotion" and "entrusts the dead to the mercy of God".
In a statement on the German Bishops’ Conference website, the chairman of the conference, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, said it was a “difficult hour for the city of Berlin and our country”. Archbishop Koch held Mass for the families affected and told a German radio station that while the attack must not be minimised, everything must be done to prevent outbreaks of rage.