A 37-year-old Danish man is suspected of killing five people in a bow-and-arrow attack in the Norwegian town of Kongsberg, report AFP and Reuters quoting police.
Two people, including an off-duty police officer, were wounded in the attacks on Wednesday evening, which took place in different locations in the town, 68km southwest of the capital, Oslo.
The suspect had converted to Islam and police had been worried over signs of his radicalisation, Norwegian police chief Ole Bredrup Saeverud told a news conference.
“The police are giving this information because of all the rumours on social media regarding people who are not linked to these very serious acts,” police said in a statement in which they gave the suspect’s nationality but did not identify them.
The man is in custody and is believed to have acted alone, police said.
They said nothing about a possible motive.
Investigators are considering whether the attacks amounted to an act of terrorism, and said they would give a more detailed account of the incident later today.
The death toll was the worst of any attack in Norway since 2011, when far-right extremist Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people, most of them teenagers at a youth camp.
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres said he was shocked and saddened by the news.
Norway’s incoming prime minister, Jonas Gahr Stoere, who is due to take power today after winning a general electionlast month, said he had been kept informed by the outgoing government.
Police were interrogating the suspect and he was cooperating, his defence lawyer said.
“He is cooperating and is giving detailed statements regarding this event,” lawyer Fredrik Neumann told public broadcaster NRK.
A bow and arrow had been used in at least several of the attacks, police said, adding they were investigating whether another weapon was also used.
Images from one of the crime scenes showed an arrow that appeared to be stuck in the wall of a wood-panelled building.
About 28,000 people live in the Kongsberg municipality.
Following the attacks, the police directorate said it had ordered officers nationwide to carry firearms.
Norwegian police are normally unarmed but officers have access to guns when needed.