A few days before the deadly knife attack in a regional train from Kiel to Hamburg, the alleged perpetrator was psychiatrically assessed – without any particular abnormalities being found. As part of his almost one-year pre-trial detention for a violent crime, he had received psychiatric care in Hamburg’s Billwerder correctional facility, the Hamburg judicial authority said on Thursday. The reason for the care had been assaults in which he had been involved twice during his detention.

“Shortly before the release, a psychiatrist found no harm to others or to himself,” said a spokeswoman for the authorities. That is why there was no reliable evidence to apply for legal support or to turn on the social psychiatric service. “Unlike when an arrest warrant is revoked, there are no options to issue conditions or instructions when it is revoked.”

The Hamburg Regional Court lifted the arrest warrant against the 33-year-old stateless Palestinian on Thursday last week, as a prison sentence that had been imposed on him but was not yet final had already been almost completely served through pre-trial detention.

On Wednesday, the man is said to have stabbed other passengers in the regional train with a knife. A 17-year-old and a 19-year-old were killed, five other travelers were injured, some seriously. Other passengers had finally overpowered the attacker.

Hamburg’s Justice Senator Anna Gallina (Greens) expressed her “deepest sympathy” to the victims and their families on Thursday. “We will also do our part to ensure that this terrible act is cleared up by the responsible authorities,” she said. “All the authorities concerned in the various federal states are busy clarifying the facts and are in close contact.”

The judiciary committee of the Hamburg Parliament will also deal with the case at its next meeting. “We will also report on the current status there,” said Gallina.