French police arrested three suspects. The anti-terrorism department of the Paris Public Prosecutor’s Office initiated investigations into attempted murder in connection with a terrorist attack.
According to police sources, the alleged perpetrator is a 24-year computer science student from Algeria.
According to media reports, the other two suspects are the mother of the alleged perpetrator and a younger brother. Also a sister was interrogated, it was said.
The perpetrator is said to have deposited the bag filled with screws and metal balls on Friday evening in a pedestrian area in the old town of Lyon, which exploded about a minute later.
The suspect was riding a bicycle wearing sunglasses and a hat.
According to the mayor of Lyon, Gerard Collomb Police arrested the student at a bus stop on Monday morning. He did not resist.
Forces searched his home. Details about the background and the possible motive of the alleged perpetrator did not make the authorities.
The investigators had shadowed him because they suspected explosives in his apartment. They suspect that the offender used small amounts of the explosive TATP.
The highly explosive substance is often used by jihadists, as in the Paris attacks in November 2015 with 130 dead. The man was reportedly not previously noticed by other acts.
Interior Minister Christophe Castaner thanked the investigators – including the German secret service DGSI – in the online service Twitter for their work.
They had found a DNA trace on the detonated bag. Whether this comes from the perpetrator, is not yet clarified.
The explosion hit France days before the European elections. Memories of the terrorist attack in Strasbourg in December were also awakened in the country.
The alleged Cherif Chekatt had opened fire in the center of the Alsatian metropolis – five people died and many were injured.
Lyon is located in the southeast of France and is the third largest city in France after Paris and Marseille with more than 515,000 inhabitants.