The man accused of fatally shooting former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has told police he had also attempted to make a bomb, investigative sources said Sunday, as the nation continued to reel from the killing of the former leader, APA reports citing The Japan Times.
Tetsuya Yamagami also said he “made multiple guns,” according to the sources. Authorities have searched his home in the western city of Nara, confiscating guns similar to the apparently homemade one found at the scene after Abe was shot Friday while delivering a stump speech on a street in the city.
Yamagami, 41, was sent to prosecutors on Sunday on suspicion of murder.
As for his motive, Yamagami has said his mother had made a “huge donation” to a religious organization and that he had harbored a grudge against the group, which he believed was associated with Abe, sources have said.
One of the sources also quoted Yamagami as saying something to the effect of “initially, I intended to attack an executive of the group” but decided to target Abe instead.
While the 41-year-old assailant’s motive is not fully known, many have strongly criticized the shooting as shaking the foundation of democracy and exposing flaws in the security of dignitaries.
At a news conference, Tomoaki Onizuka, head of the Nara Prefectural Police, apologized for failing to prevent the attack and signaled that there were issues with Abe’s security detail.
“It’s undeniable that there were problems in (Abe’s) security,” he said.
Yamagami has also told the police that on the eve of the deadly shooting, he went to a hall in the western city of Okayama where Abe delivered a speech for Sunday’s Upper House election, according to the sources.
The rally attracted more than 2,000 people without a security check, but there were no problems, according to people involved in the event.
Yamagami, who used a homemade gun to shoot Abe and was arrested at the scene, has denied that opposition to the former prime minister’s political beliefs had anything to do with him committing the crime, according to police.