Detectives believe the far-right Nazi-obsessed extremist who murdered MP Jo Cox may have had an accomplice.
Officers are looking into who supplied the sawn-off shotgun which Thomas Mair, 53, used to shoot mother-of-two Mrs Cox at point blank range as she arrived for a surgery with constituents in Yorkshire.
Mair shot Mrs Cox in the street after lying in wait for her outside her Batley and Spen constituency library. He also stabbed her multiple times with a dagger in Birstall a week before the referedum on leaving Europe.
Police say there are now questions to be asked about where the gun came from. Detective Superintendent Nick Wallen said: “How he, an antisocial loner with no previous criminal history, no criminal ring of individuals around him, how he came to be in possession of that gun is very much an active line of inquiry.When it was stolen it wasn’t sawn-off as it was when it was used.”
Mair used the .22 calibre gun to shoot Mrs Cox twice in the head and once in the chest. Officers discovered that it had been reported stolen from the boot of an SUV in the nearby town of Keighley. However, when it was recovered, it had much of its barrel and stock sawn-off and measured just 12 inches in length.
Forensic teams could find no evidence that Mair had made the modifications himself, so detectives now believe that a third party may have been involved.
Mair refused to give evidence in his own defence at Leeds Court Court. When he asked if he could give a statement to the court following his conviction, the judge refused. He is also understood to have refused to answer questions from officers.
Det Supt Wallen added: “The only person who can really answer that is Thomas Mair and he hasn’t spoken to us we don’t know what his firm intentions were. Was he on his way home when police detained him? The answer is not really. Where he was going is only something he can answer.”