61-Yr-Old Man Identified as Osaka Arson Suspect


Osaka, Dec. 19 (Jiji Press)--Japanese police on Sunday identified a 61-year-old patient of a mental health clinic in the western Japan city of Osaka as the suspect of Friday's arson attack at the clinic that killed 24 people.

The patient, Morio Tanimoto, whose occupation is unknown, allegedly brought a paper bag containing liquid into the clinic and set it on fire.

A lighter has been discovered at the fire scene. Tanimoto may have used this to set the liquid on fire.

He used his bicycle to go to the clinic from his home in the city's Nishiyodogawa Ward and carried with him two cans, which are believed to be tear gas sprayers, together with the paper bag, investigative sources said.

The Osaka prefectural police department said it released the name of the suspect even though it has yet to issue a warrant of arrest on murder and arson charges against the man because bereaved families wished to have the suspect identified.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press