Bastille Day truck attacker texted for 'more weapons' minutes before massacre
Jul 21 2016
French authorities have still not produced any evidence to back up the Islamic State's claim to have played a role into the attack, the third such carried out on French soil in the past 18 months.
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said Lahouaiej-Bouhlel seemed to have been "radicalised very quickly".
Officials said Sunday that the 31-year-old had apparently undergone a rapid conversion to radical Islam and carefully planned the attack that claimed the lives of at least 84 people, including 10 children.
The Paris prosecutor's office on Saturday said police had arrested a total of five people believed to be linked to Bouhlel.
The government says 84 people were killed and 202 injured in the attack Thursday night, including many tourists from multiple countries.
They were made from the mobile found in the lorry cab, along with the killer's driving licence and bank card, after police cut him down in a hail of gunfire.
He was "entirely unknown by the intelligence services, whether nationally or locally", French prosecutor Francois Molins said.
Hollande described the incident as a "terrorist attack" in a sombre televised address, adding that "France was struck on its national day... the symbol of freedom".
Bunches of flowers and candles left on the Promenade des Anglais, many at the exact spots where people were killed, have swelled in number.
Nice's famed Promenade des Anglais is gradually reopening and becoming a shrine to the dead, with memorials set up on the westbound lane of the road where victims were felled by an attacker with a truck.
Making an emotional statement on Sunday, Nice mayor Philippe Pradal said: "Do not be afraid...At this moment...I can think only of the dead and the wounded, innocent victims of incredible savagery".
The psychiatrist, Chemceddine Hamouda, said Bouhlel's parents brought him to his clinic in Msaken in August 2004.
Since Paris attacks in November 2015, France has raised security alert to the highest level with security measures tightened at transport hubs, religious sites and department stores.
Sadok Bouhlel, a 69-year-old retired teacher, in the driver's hometown of Msaken, Tunisia said: "Mohamed didn't pray, didn't go to the mosque and ate pork".