The perpetrator of the deadly bow and arrow attack on Wednesday in Kongsberg, Norway, will remain in custody for four weeks, including two weeks in isolation, a court said on Friday.
Officials arrested Espen Andersen Braathen, a 37-year-old Danish national, 30 minutes after he started firing arrows and possibly other weapons in a supermarket and nearby locations.
Five people were killed and three others were seriously injured.
Braathen, who confessed to the murders after his arrest, is also not allowed to communicate with others. He did not appear in court.
“Reference is made to the extraordinary gravity of the case, which has also led to great media interest both nationally and internationally. If the accused is not shielded from this and other prisoners, important evidence could be lost, ”the verdict said.
He is being held on five counts for preliminary murder and on three counts for attempted murder. Preliminary charges are one step behind formal charges. According to police, further charges can be brought against him.
Hans Sverre Sjoevold, head of the Norwegian domestic intelligence service PST, said Thursday that “the whole act appears to be an act of terrorism” but warned that “we do not know the perpetrator’s motivation”.
Police confirmed on Friday that Braathen had been admitted to a health facility where “he is under full judicial scrutiny to determine whether or not he was healthy at the time of the crime.”
They also said investigators had seized three weapons, including a bow and arrow. The police said they would not say anything about the other weapons for the time being, “for the sake of investigation”.
On Thursday, authorities described him as a Muslim convert and said there had been “previous fears that the man had been radicalized”. But neither the police nor the domestic secret service explained or said why they tagged Andersen Braathen or did it with the information.
According to Norwegian media, Andersen Braathen has been convicted of burglary and drug possession and last year a court issued an injunction to stay away from his parents for six months after threatening to kill one of them.
Mass killings are rare in Norway with low crime rates, and the attack immediately brought to mind the country’s worst peacetime slaughter a decade ago, when a right-wing domestic extremist killed 77 people with a bomb, rifle and pistol.