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UK police announce 'extensive investigations' of larger Manchester terrorist network

Candles and floral tributes are seen Tuesday in Manchester, England. Manchester police said Wednesday that they believe the suicide bomber responsible for the attack that killed 22 people after an Ariana Grande concert Monday evening was part of a larger network. (Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Police in Manchester, England, said Wednesday that they believe the suicide bomber responsible for the attack at an Ariana Grande concert Monday evening was part of a larger network.

On Tuesday, authorities named Salman Abedi, 22, as the suspected bomber who carried out the attack at Manchester Arena. The attack left 22 people dead and dozens injured.

Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said at a news conference Wednesday: "I think it's very clear that this is a network that we are investigating. And as I've said, it continues at a pace. There's extensive investigations going on and activity taking place across Greater Manchester, as we speak."

Hopkins also said that an off-duty police officer was among the victims but declined to give the officer’s name, citing the “family’s wishes.”

The BBC reported that Abedi's younger brother Hashem Abedi was arrested Wednesday in Tripoli, Lybia. Ismael Abedi, also Abedi's brother, was arrested in Manchester on Tuesday.

According to the BBC, Home Secretary Amber Rudd said that the attack “was more sophisticated than some of the attacks we've seen before, and it seems likely — possible — that he wasn't doing this on his own."

NBC News reported that a U.S. intelligence official with direct knowledge of the investigation said that Abedi's bomb was "big and sophisticated" and comprised of materials that are difficult to find in England, which means that "it's almost impossible to see he didn't have help."

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