Manchester suicide bomber Salman Abedi likely purchased most of the key bomb components himself, British police investigating the attack said, as the northern English city’s citizens began to resume their normal lives.
Officers in city have arrested 16 people since the attack at the end of a concert by US pop star Ariana Grande killed 22 children and adults and injured 116 others last week.
“Our inquiries show Abedi himself made most of the purchases of the core components and what is becoming apparent is that many of his movements and actions have been carried out alone during the four days from him landing in the country and committing this awful attack,” said Russ Jackson, head of the North West Counter Terrorism Unit.
Police have been probing Abedi’s last movements by delving into his phone calls and watching his movements on closed-circuit television.
“We also have a good understanding of the likely component parts of the bomb and where these came from,” said Jackson.
Officers were still trying to determine whether Abedi was part of a wider network, which could not be ruled out yet.
They are also keen to find out why he kept going back to the Wilmslow Road area of Manchester and to find the blue suitcase he used during those trips, Jackson said.
Grande announced Tuesday she would return to Manchester to headline a star-studded benefit concert for the victims of the attack.
Justin Bieber, Coldplay, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Pharrell Williams, Usher and Take That will join her for Sunday’s concert in memory of the 22 people who died.
“Our response to this violence must be to come closer together, to help each other, to love more, to sing louder and to live more kindly and generously than we did before,” Grande said.
The 23-year-old said she was “broken” and suspended her world tour after the bomb went off near an exit of the Manchester Arena venue at the finale of her show on May 22.
The railway station next to the arena, which had been shut since the blast, reopened Tuesday, easing transport woes for residents.
Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham and Transport Secretary Chris Grayling were among those who laid wreaths at Victoria Station, which also suffered damage in the concert blast.
Burnham said the city had pulled together “through what has been our darkest week.”
The return to a level of normalcy followed days of emotional tributes to the attack victims. Hundreds stood in quiet contemplation at St. Ann’s Square, where a sea of cards, flowers and balloons has grown into an impromptu memorial site for those killed and injured in the blast.