Police seize smartphone in arson attack

Investigative sources say police in Japan have seized a smartphone after searching the home of the suspect in the deadly arson attack at an animation studio in Kyoto.

Police entered the apartment unit where Shinji Aoba lives in Saitama, near Tokyo, on Friday. The sources say the smartphone believed to belong to Aoba was among the confiscated items, and police intend to analyze the device in hopes of determining a motive. The sources say Kyoto Animation products were also seized in the raid.

35 people were killed and 33 others were hurt in the arson attack at the company's studio on July 18. Ten of the injured are still being treated in hospital.

Police have obtained an arrest warrant for Aoba on suspicion of arson and murder.

Sources close to the investigation say surveillance camera footage shows the 41-year-old travelling to Kyoto three days before the attack.

Police believe the suspect repeatedly scouted the company headquarters and the studio, looking for an opportunity to carry out the attack.

Ten days since the fatal attack, many people are still visiting the site to pay tribute to the victims and lay flowers on an altar set up nearby.

Some people were in tears as they offered prayers, facing the building that was set ablaze.

One man in his 20s from Mie Prefecture said he is a fan of Kyoto Animation's work. He said he was full of anger over the attack and had prayed for the company to rebuild quickly.

A junior high school student from central Japan said she wondered why Kyoto Animation had to go through such a tragedy. She said she had been supported by the company's work and no words could describe how she felt.