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Suspected shooter at Mercedes-Benz plant had no firearm licence - police

FILE PHOTO: Shooting at a German Mercedes plant in Sindelfingen

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - A 53-year old individual suspected of firing shots and killing two colleagues at a production plant run by German carmaker Mercedes-Benz on Thursday had no license to own a gun, police said on Friday.

The suspect has been in custody since his arrest at the plant, located some 17 km (10.6 miles) southwest of Stuttgart, and police on Friday said it was likely that he "possessed the firearm illegally".

Two 44-year old men, who police said worked with the man at the site, were killed as a result of the shooting, police said, adding the accused gave no reason for his action when brought before a judge and that his motive remained a matter of ongoing investigations.

Police have set up a special investigations team to look into the shooting, which is the latest such incident in Germany in recent years, many of which had a connection with extremism.

Mercedes-Benz, meantime, said it would halt production at the affected areas of the plant until the end of the week, declining to comment on details of the shooting or possible motives.

(Reporting by Christoph Steitz; editing by Matthias Williams)