The 16-year-old was questioned after contacting the police following the attack, telling authorities that he exchanged text messages with the 18-year-old shooter using WhatsApp. On Monday, Munich senior public prosecutor Thomas Steinkraus-Koch told a news conference that the Afghan teen was in contact with the attacker until just before the shooting took place. The 16-year-old deleted their chats but authorities were able to retrieve them.
Steinkraus-Koch told the new conference, "This (WhatsApp) chat and questioning of a suspect has shown that the Afghan met the gunman directly before the gun attack at what was later the scene of the crime."
The Munich shootings are one of four attacks across Germany since July 18, which have seen ten people killed and 34 injured. Of the four, three have been attributed to migrants. As a result, some Germans are beginning to lose faith in Chancellor Angela Merkel's open-door refugee policy.
Over the last year, more than a million migrants have entered Germany, many of them fleeing conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
WhatsApp records revealed that the 16-year-old Afghan was aware that the shooter, a German Iranian, was in possession of a Glock 17 handgun. "They got to know each other last summer, in 2015, in a psychiatric clinic where they underwent treatment. There, it also became apparent to the [Afghan] suspect that the attacker was interested in [Norwegian mass murderer] Breivik," Steinkraus-Koch said.
The 16-year-old’s deletion of his WhatsApp conversations with the Munich shooter has caused authorities to suspect that the former knew about the attack in advance, and neglected to alert police officials.
Steinkraus-Koch said, "We will now pursue this suspicion."