JOHOR BARU - Three men have been detained in Muar early yesterday morning in connection with the attack on three kindergarten pupils at Tadika Sinario.
The first suspect was detained at Bangunan Mara Bridge along Jalan Maharani here at 12.20am while the second man was picked up in Jalan Daud 10 minutes later.
A third suspect was hauled in Muar town a few hours later.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan said the suspects, aged between 25 and 29 years, were detained to facilitate investigations into the attack.
"We believe one of the suspects may have been the culprit. We appeal to witnesses to come forward and identify the one responsible for the attack," he told reporters after the launch of the Community Police Post in Taman Bestari Indah here yesterday.
Musa said police were still investigating the motive of the attack, adding that this "would be the key to getting to the bottom of the matter."
Johor CID chief Senior Asst Comm II Datuk Amer Awal, who is leading the task force to track down the attacker, said two of the suspects had past records for mental disorder treatment at Muar Hospital.
"One of the suspects also has past criminal records for criminal intimidation and theft while another has records for drug-related offences," he said. Initial investigations revealed that the suspects could also be involved in drug abuse.
SAC II Amer said police had to delay the release of the attacker's photo-fit as investigation is on-going.
He urged anyone with information to contact the police hotline at 07-221 2999 or the nearest police station.
On Wednesday morning, a man armed with a hammer barged into Tadika Sinario here and bludgeoned three six-year-olds, sparking a massive manhunt by the authorities.