Gardaí are trawling through the contents of two mobile phones found on the teenager arrested in Dundalk Wednesday morning on suspicion of murder.
The 18-year-old man arrested in Dundalk yesterday morning after killing one and injuring two others is believed to have traveled to Ireland in the past few days after failing to be granted asylum in the UK.
The Egyptian native, whom Gardaí (Irish police), have said is unfit for questioning, is believed to have stabbed 24-year-old factory worker Yosuke Sasaki as he walked to work, before attacking two other men with a metal bar. Sasaki, a Japanese man living in Co. Louth died at the scene around 9am on Wednesday morning.
A local 22-year-old DIT student is also believed to be among the other two Irish men injured. Their injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.
Intensive garda investigation under way after one man killed, two others injured in Dundalk attack - RTÉ’s Crime Correspondent Paul Reynolds reports pic.twitter.com/p2sVyc4fFh— RTÉ News (@rtenews) January 3, 2018
The suspect was arrested by Gardaí after they received three calls reporting attacks in different parts of Dundalk within the space of an hour. He was arrested by an unarmed officer when spotted by police carrying a metal bar. The 18-year-old is thought to have been carrying two knives as well as a metal bar. He is thought to have traveled on foot around the town.
The investigation is currently attempting to establish a motive for the attack, including the possibility that it may have been terror-related. Two mobile phones that were found on the teenager are currently being examined.
“He is 18 years of age. It is early in the investigation but I can say the suspect is Egyptian and that is simply what we know at the moment," said Chief Superintendent Christy Mangan.
"We would be very interested to know how the suspect came into the jurisdiction, how long were they here, who they were associated with and we would certainly be appealing to people who know the suspect while he was here.
"Gardaí believe that he was sleeping in a derelict property" -— Newstalk (@NewstalkFM) January 4, 2018
More details emerge about an 18-year-old man arrested over a fatal stabbing in Dundalk: https://t.co/V7xMbvJcTN pic.twitter.com/IwAQzsGtC7
“We are satisfied he was on his own. There is no indication any other persons was assisting him. We at this point don’t have a background.
“On January 1 [he had] a garda (police) interaction about his status in the country. Not an interaction that would say he was going to be involved in criminality.
“We believe he has [sought asylum]. We are still trying to establish has he done that.
"Our information is that he was going to do be doing (that).
"The interaction as regards his status in the country – immigration.”
The 24-year-old Japanese man Sasaki was the first to be attacked. He was stabbed in the back on Avenue Road around 9am as he walked with his headphones in, unaware of his attacker. Gardaí arrived at the scene after seven minutes, receiving a call that a man had been found unresponsive. It is believed he was on his way to work when he was attacked.
Another call was received by the Gardaí at 9.32am from Coes Road and another eight minutes later at Seatown Place. A short time later, Gardaí spotted a man carrying a crowbar and he was disarmed and arrested.
“He was walking to work, the knife was stuck into his back by the attacker," a source told the Irish Mirror.
"He was wearing headphones and didn’t even hear his attacker coming from behind.
"Then the next incident happened at 9.32am. Gardaí (Irish police) were told a man was stabbed at nearby Coes Road.
"The next incident was at 9.40am when a man was attacked with a 'fencing pole' at Seatown Place."
Gardaí have issued an appeal for information following the death of a man in a stabbing incident in Dundalk, Co Louth pic.twitter.com/ZKXhKKI6KY— RTÉ (@rte) January 3, 2018
The suspect is said to be in a frenzied state and Gardaí have been forced to suspend his detention until a doctor confirms that he is fit for questioning.
"A terror attack is a line of inquiry – it certainly is a line we will look at," continued Chief Superintendent Mangan.
“We will endeavor to establish the background of the suspect and where they have come from and why they are here.
“We will ask and answer why the attacks took place, why an innocent bystander, going about their work, would be attacked on a morning in Dundalk slightly before 9am.”
The Gardaí are understood to be liaising with foreign police forces to establish the details of the suspect's journey to Ireland.
“(This was) random and unprovoked but we would have to conduct a full investigation," the Chief Superintendent said.
“We have got great contact from people in the Dundalk area who have provided us with really important information as regards to what exactly took place this morning.
"We are very interested to find out who they were with, who were they staying with and who did they have contact with here.
“There is obviously an international dimension. We will talk to people in order to establish where this person came from and how he got to this jurisdiction.”
Investigating Gardaí are appealing for witnesses to contact Dundalk Garda Station on 042 9388400, the Garda Confidential Line 1 800 666 111 or any Garda Station.