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German police lost Halle gunman for an hour, lawmakers say

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Flowers and candles on the market place remind of the two victims of a right-wing extremist in Halle, Germany, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019. A heavily armed assailant ranting about Jews tried to force his way into a synagogue in Germany on Yom Kippur, Judaism’s holiest day, then shot two people to death nearby in an attack Wednesday that was livestreamed on a popular gaming site. (Hendrik Schmidt/dpa via AP)

BERLIN (AP) — German lawmakers say police lost track for an hour of a suspected far-right extremist who killed two people after a failed attack on a synagogue.

Germany’s dpa news agency quoted regional lawmakers in Saxony-Anhalt state as saying on Monday that it was two officers in a small town who eventually arrested the gunman, not the SWAT teams that were hunting him.

German security services have come under scrutiny over their response to the shooting Wednesday in the eastern city of Halle after Jewish community leaders said requests for police protection were ignored.

The 27-year-old German suspect, identified by prosecutors as Stephan B., was arrested in Zeitz, located about 50 kilometers (31 miles) south of Halle.

Authorities say he has admitted carrying out the shooting and had anti-Semitic and right-wing extremist motives.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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