French officials said Monday that a man who fatally stabbed two women at Marseille’s main train station had been arrested and released the day before the attack.
The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for Sunday’s attack, the latest of several targeting France.
Two police officials said the man did not have French residency papers and was detained for suspected shoplifting in the Lyon region Saturday before being released.
The officials said he was not on France’s extremist watch list.
The suspect, killed by police after Sunday’s attack, was identified by his fingerprints.
French media reports said he used multiple identity papers.
The victims were cousins between 17 and 21 years old, according to three police and judicial officials who were not authorized to be publicly named during the ongoing investigation.
One of them was fatally stabbed while the other had her throat slit by the assailant, who is believed to have shouted “Allahu Akbar” (God is Greatest) at the start of his rampage, a source close to the investigation said.