Police believe a 21-year-old Tunisian was behind it, but have now also arrested a man they believe was in contact with him before the attack and gave the perpetrator a phone call.
Reuters reports that a 47-year-old is in custody and is being questioned by the police. The man is suspected of having helped the perpetrator and been in contact with him the night before the attack. According to the newspaper Nice Matin, he gave him a phone call.
On Thursday morning, three people were killed in Notre-Dame Church in Nice. An elderly woman was beheaded, and a church servant in his 50s had his throat cut. In addition, a woman in her 40s was killed.
Police shot the perpetrator during the arrest. He is now in hospital. On Thursday night, French police confirmed that he is 21 years old, from Tunisia and arrived in France in early October. He is said to have traveled to Europe via the Italian island of Lampedusa and arrived in France after being deported from there.
It is not known if he had any connection to any terrorist organization or if he gave any motive. The man shouted “Allahu Akbar”, God is greatest in Arabic, during the attack and afterwards.
President Emmanuel Macron called it an Islamist terrorist attack. It is only two weeks since a teacher was beheaded after showing cartoons of Muhammad for an hour about freedom of speech.
French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin fears more attacks. He says that France is at war with “Islamist ideology” and that “we are at war with an enemy who is both inside and out”.
“We must understand that you have been and will be more such incidents as this cruel attack,” Dermanin said.