German Chancellor Angela Merkel said early signs indicate that the Hanau shooting perpetrator had acted out of "extreme far-right, racist motives." She made the comments during a press conference in Berlin on Thursday.

"A lot points to the fact that the perpetrator acted out of extreme far-right, racist motives, hatred against people of other origins, of other beliefs or other appearance," she said.

Merkel went on to say that racism and hatred were a "poison" which has already become a reason for many crimes in Germany: from the "atrocities" of the neo-Nazi National Socialist Underground (NSU) which was uncovered in November 2011 to the murder of former member of Germany's ruling Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in Hesse Walter Luebcke in June 2019.

She continued: "we do not differentiate between people according to their origin or religion. We oppose those who try to divide Germany with all our strength and determination."

Late on Wednesday a gunman reportedly opened fire outside one shisha bar in Hanau near Frankfurt and drove to a second location within the city where he opened fire again, killing nine people and injuring several others.

According to reports, the suspect was a 43-year-old German citizen from Hanau. Together with his 72-year-old mother, he was found dead at his address in the early hours of Thursday morning.

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