Man arrested in Berlin truck attack released

Posted at 12:22 PM, Dec 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-20 13:26:08-05
The Latest on investigation of truck rampage in Berlin Christmas market (all times local):
   7:05 p.m.
   German prosecutors say a man arrested after the truck attack on a Berlin Christmas market has been released because there isn't sufficient evidence to tie him to the rampage.
   Federal prosecutors said Tuesday that that the man, a Pakistani citizen who came to Germany last year as an asylum-seeker, denied involvement in the attack that killed 12 people and injured nearly 50 others.
   They noted that witnesses were able to follow the truck's driver from the scene but lost track of him. The man arrested matched witness descriptions of the truck driver, but investigators haven't been able to prove that he was in the truck's cab at the time of the attack.
   Under German law, prosecutors have until the end of the calendar day following an arrest to seek a formal arrest warrant keeping a suspect in custody.
   6:35 p.m.
   German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Joachim Gauck are attending a memorial service at the church next to the Christmas market that was attacked on Monday night.
   The nondenominational service at the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church came hours after Merkel and other German political leaders laid white roses outside the church.
   The church, a centerpiece of the former West Berlin, serves as a symbol of the destruction of war. The 19th-century church was badly damaged in World War II bombing and the remains of its spire were left standing. A modern extension was inaugurated in 1961.
   Berlin's Lutheran bishop, Markus Droege, said "Berlin lives with this wound, which was created by violence and war. This church is a memorial -- it shows us what happens when people give free rein to their hatred, when they pursue the path of violence to the end."
   6:30 p.m.
   A German Muslim group is condemning the truck attack on a Christmas market in Berlin that left 12 people dead.
   The Muslim Coordination Council said in a statement Tuesday that terror "does not stop in the face of innocent people and what is sacred to people." It added that "we are deeply shocked and condemn the cowardly attack in the strongest terms."
   The council is an umbrella organization for several German Muslim groups.
   German authorities are calling the truck attack an "act of terrorism" that had all the hallmarks of Islamic extremism, but many questions remain over who carried it out. No group has claimed responsibility.
   6:20 p.m.
   The White House says President Barack Obama has spoken by phone with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and offered his condolences for the attack against the Berlin Christmas market.
   Twelve people were killed and nearly 50 others injured when the truck drove into the popular Christmas market filled with tourists and locals outside the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church near Berlin's Zoo station late Monday.
   The White House says Obama reiterated a U.S. offer of assistance. He also underscored that "no attack could sway our determination and that of our German allies to defeat terrorism in all of its forms."
   The White House says Obama also expressed his appreciation for Merkel's steadfast leadership in shared efforts to "root out the scourge of terrorism and defend our way of life."