After the knife attack at a primary school in Esslingen in Baden-Württemberg, the suspect is in custody. The 24-year-old confessed to the crime, the public prosecutor’s office in Stuttgart and the police headquarters in Reutlingen announced on Saturday.

Investigations into the motive continued; a politically motivated background is excluded. The possibility of a mental illness of the man will be examined. The 24-year-old has not yet appeared with the police.

A seven-year-old girl and a caregiver were seriously injured in the attack in Esslingen on Friday morning. The child was apparently a random victim “with whom there was no prior relationship,” said the police and prosecutors. The attack could only be ended by the “courageous intervention of the supervisor”.

The 61-year-old and the child stayed at the closed school as part of the holiday care. The perpetrator was approached by an employee when he entered the school, the police said. But he didn’t react to that, but ran into the basement and attacked the girl and the supervisor there with a kitchen knife. The 61-year-old and the child were taken to a hospital with severe cuts – there was no danger to life.

The attack is said to have taken place in the entrance area of ​​the school. There were only a few children in the care. They would be given psychological care. “The woman and the girl are seriously injured and in a clinic,” said the police spokesman. But their lives were not in danger.

The alleged perpetrator fled after the attack. A large police force was involved in the search for him. The 24-year-old spoke to a passer-by in Stuttgart and asked him to alert the police because he was responsible for the crime in Esslingen, it said on Friday. According to the authorities, he was arrested without resistance.

Witnesses had described the suspect as a 30 to 35 year old man wearing black jeans and a black top with white lettering. When searching around the school, officials found a knife, a police spokesman confirmed. Police later said it could be the murder weapon.