Osaka Arson Suspect Bought Gasoline in Late Nov.


Osaka, Dec. 20 (Jiji Press)--The 61-year-old suspect of Friday's deadly arson attack at a mental health clinic in the western Japan city of Osaka bought gasoline at a service station in late November, investigative sources said Monday.

An apparent plastic bottle containing a liquid that appeared to be gasoline has been discovered where the suspect is believed to have lived, according to the sources.

The Osaka prefectural police department is looking at the possibility that the suspect repackaged gasoline into small portions for the arson attack, which killed 24 people. The police have identified 21 of the victims.

The suspect, Morio Tanimoto, set the clinic alight only a minute or two after he arrived at the facility, the sources said.

Security camera footage at the clinic, located on the fourth floor of an eight-story building in Kita Ward of the Osaka Prefecture capital, showed Tanimoto possibly trying to walk further into the clinic, rather than escaping, after starting the fire near its reception, according to the prefecture's police department.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press