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Berlin suspect 'researched explosives'

AAP logoAAP 22/12/2016

The prime suspect in the Berlin Christmas market truck attack, Tunisian Anis Amri, researched how to build explosive devices online and communicated with the Islamic State, the New York Times reports.

The 24-year-old had communicated with the extremist organisation at least once and was also on a US no-fly list, the newspaper said, citing a US official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Amri, who has several aliases and was facing deportation, is believed to have fled the scene of Monday's attack, which left 12 people dead and 48 injured, including the truck's Polish driver, who was found shot, stabbed and bashed in the cabin.

Identity documents belonging to Amri were found in the truck after the attack, which has left Germany's capital badly shaken.

Amri had been under surveillance between March and September, and was suspected of planning to steal money in order to buy an automatic weapon "possibly to later commit an attack with future accomplices," the Berlin investigating authorities said.

The surveillance did not produce the necessary evidence to bring charges against him.

Fourteen of those injured in the carnage remain in a life-threatening condition.

Meanwhile police raided a refugee home in North Rhine Westphalia on Thursday as the Europe-wide hunt continued for the Tunisian.

About 100 officials, including special units, were involved in the operation in the city of Emmerich, which ended after roughly one hour.

German authorities on Wednesday issued a wanted poster for Amri, offering a reward of up to 100,000 euros ($A143,998) for help in his capture.

Police did not disclose the result of the search of the refugee home and provided no further comments.

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