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Suspected book thief found dead

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13:23 CET+01:00
The 48 year old who had been missing since his Stockholm apartment exploded last Wednesday morning was found dead in the ruins on Sunday. He was being investigated by the police for his role in the theft of books worth millions of crowns from Stockholm's Royal Library.

"The body was whole but injured," said detective Christer Collin. "Since he was a suspect in a crime investigation we had his fingerprints and quickly identified him."

According to Dagens Nyheter, the man had admitted "stealing 25-30 valuable works and selling them both in Sweden and abroad". But on December 3rd he was released from police custody. Five days later a massive explosion destroyed his apartment on Surbrunnsgatan in central Stockholm.

The damage to the fifth floor apartment prevented police or sniffer dogs from entering until the ceiling and walls had been supported.

Early on Monday police were still unsure about what caused the explosion. Work was continuing throughout the day but the police spokesman Kjell Lindgren warned that it may be some time before the incident was fully explained.

"What we've got to find out is if it was due to a broken gas pipe or if it was some other substance that caused the explosion," he said. "We're going to have to send recovered material for analysis before we get the answer."

Meanwhile, the man who has responsibility for the building, Tony Kullman, told DN that the priority was to secure the top floor so that nothing falls down to lower floors.

"We will also build a weather cover over the whole roof so that it doesn't rain or snow in the property," he said.

The entire building has been vacated and Kullman said that it could be anywhere from six months to a year before the residents can move back in. In the meantime, they are being helped by their insurance companies to find alternative accommodation.

"Our goal is that they can move back gradually," said Kullman. "The top floors will be rebuilt so although it won't be a completely new building the top two floors will be new."

Sources: Dagens Nyheter, Aftonbladet, Metro

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