The far-right terrorist who killed nine people in a shisha bar rampage in Germany had scouted one of the cafes four days earlier, it has emerged.
Surveillance footage shows Tobias Rathjen in the hookah lounge in Hanau less than a week before he opened fire in a racist terror attack.
The bar was one of two which Rathjen targeted on Wednesday night in an attack which has sparked a wave of fear and outrage in Germany.
Rathjen opened fire in a migrant neighbourhood after posting a video and a 24-page manifesto online in which he set out his neo-Nazi beliefs and conspiracy theories.
The nine victims in the bars were all from a ‘migrant background’, five of them Turkish nationals, authorities say.
The terrorist then returned home where he shot his own mother before killing himself.
Security camera footage showing Tobias Rathjen (second left) at one of the cafes six days before the shooting of nine people in Hanau
Tobias Rathjen, 43, opened fire at two locations in the German city of Hanau, killing nine people and leaving six others injured before going back to his parents’ apartment where he shot his 72-year-old dead and then killed himself
Mourners attending a vigil for the victims of the double shooting in Hanau, near Frankfurt, last night. Nine victims were killed in the attacks on two shisha bars
Rathjen’s extremist manifesto was taken down almost immediately after the attack, but authorities said it ‘pointed to deeply racist views’.
Germany’s federal prosecutor, Peter Frank, described the rant as stocked with ‘confused ideas and far-fetched conspiracy theories.’
Extracts of the text which were printed in German media called for the destruction of people across the Middle East, northern Africa and Asia.
In a separate YouTube video, Rathjen warned Americans that their country was under the control of ‘invisible secret societies’.
He also ranted about subterranean military bases where ‘they abuse, torture and kill little children.’
He also believed he had been under a government watch since childhood, blaming this supposed surveillance for his inability to have a relationship with a woman.
In fact, German authorities say Rathjen was not on their radar and did not appear to have any previous convictions.
‘At the moment there is no information about previous convictions against him or investigations with a political background,’ the public prosecutor said.
Rathjen is then thought to have driven away from the first scene and gone 1.5miles to the Arena Bar and Cafe, where he opened fire on a sports car outside and then the cafe itself
Police securing the Midnight shisha bar where several people were killed when Rathjen opened fire around 10pm on Wednesday night
A mourner crying during a vigil for the victims of the terrorist shooting in Hanau, near Frankfurt, on Wednesday night
People mourn as they gather at the Marktplatz in Hanau holding pictures of the victims, holding a banner reading: ‘Racism and fascism kill everywhere’
Those words and theories did not fit with the man that Claus Schmidt thought he knew.
The 50-year-old Schmidt, who runs the SV Diana Bergen-Enkheim shooting club that Rathjen joined, said: ‘He was totally inconspicuous.
‘There was not a hint of racism or hatred towards foreigners, not even an awkward joke. He was always friendly.
‘We have several club members with foreign roots and there was never a problem.’
Schmidt added that Rathjen had lived and worked in Munich but came back to the area last year after his job ended.
Rathjen practised at the gun club twice or three times a week and had said he wanted to go to the United States.
Alongside the manifesto, prosecutors said the home page also linked to at least one YouTube video, posted within the last week.
Rathjen is thought to have got into this BMW (above) after the first shooting, drove a mile down the road to his second target, then returned to his home address where he killed himself
Mourners holding up photos of victims of Wednesday night’s gun attack, during a vigil close to the crime scene in Hanau
Rathjen, pictured bottom right in a yearbook photo from 1996, uploaded a manifesto online before carrying out his attacks detailing his belief in ethnic cleansing, mind control and that the government was following him
The video, which has now been removed, showed a middle-aged white man with a receding hairline, smartly dressed in a white open-necked shirt and dark jacket.
He addressed Americans in fluent, if accented, English, warning them that their country is under the control of ‘invisible secret societies’.
There was no mention of race and it had not been enough to flag him up to authorities.
‘At the moment there is no information about previous convictions against him or investigations with a political background,’ the public prosecutor said in a statement.
Rathjen’s home page, which has also now been removed, also showed an interest in America – the main page displayed a picture of a bald-headed eagle.
But the rest was focused on his curriculum vitae – from high school in Hanau, to his training as a bank clerk in Frankfurt to his business administration certificate, secured in 2007.