Finnish police identity knife attack suspect who gave false name

Memorial cards, candles and flowers for the victims of Friday's stabbings are placed on the Market Square in Turku, Finland August 19, 2017. Lehtikuva/Vesa Moilanen/via REUTERS

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Finnish police said on Sunday the Moroccan asylum seeker who has admitted killing two women in a knife attack last week has been identified after he gave officials a false name when he entered the country in 2016.

Police said the main suspect, who was previously named as 18-year-old Abderrahman Mechkah, was a Moroccan born in 1994.

“His identity has now been confirmed, so we know who we are dealing with,” Detective Chief Inspector Crista Granroth of the National Bureau of Investigation told Reuters.

Police did not release the suspect’s real name or his age.

Eight other people were wounded in the Aug. 18 knife attack in the south-western coastal city of Turku, which is being investigated as Finland’s first terrorism-related assault.

The suspect, who remains in custody, has told a court he was responsible for the attack but denied his motive was terrorism. [nL8N1L81K8]

He arrived in Finland in 2016, lived in a reception center in Turku and was denied asylum before the attack.

Reporting by Tuomas Forsell; editing by Susan Thomas