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Tunisian man detained for possible link to Berlin attacker

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Police cars and an ambulance are seen beside a road block on an empty street in Augsburg, southern Germany, during a mass evacuation on December 25, 2016. Around 54,000 residents are being evacuated from their homes after the discovery of a bomb dating from World War II, local authorities said. The lettering reads: "Danger zone. Do Not Enter" / AFP / dpa / Stefan Puchner / Germany OUT (Photo credit should read STEFAN PUCHNER/AFP/Getty Images)

German federal police have detained a Tunisian man who had possible ties to Berlin Christmas market attacker Anis Amri, according to a statement from the federal prosecutor’s office released Wednesday.

Federal police searched the 40-year-old man’s home and office with a search warrant from the federal court December 26, the statement said.

The man’s phone number was found on a mobile phone belonging to Amri, according to the prosecutor.

“Further investigation points to the assumption that he could have been involved in the attack. He was therefore detained,” the statement said.

“Whether or not the current suspicion against the detainee will become more substantial will be subject to further investigation,” it added, saying the probe will determine whether an arrest warrant should be issued for the man.

Amri killed the driver of a tractor-trailer loaded with steel and drove it to central Berlin, where he mounted a sidewalk and plowed through an open-air Christmas market December 19, killing 12 people and injuring at least 48 others.

As the manhunt for Amri got under way, Dutch police say it is “likely” but “not 100% sure” that he traveled through the Netherlands on his way to Milan, where he was killed in a shootout with Italian police December 23.

“It might be the case, not 100% sure. [Amri] might have traveled through city of Nijmegen but it’s not clear what happened after that. But it is likely,” the Dutch police press office told CNN Wednesday, based on information from the attorney general.

There was “direct and indirect evidence,” police said.

A SIM card was found in Amri’s possession that was part of a free promotional deal being offered by a Dutch cell phone provider between December 20 and 22 in the cities of Nijmegen, Breda and Zwolle.

“The SIM was not used,” the press office said.