UPDATED: 5:15 p.m. EDT — The family of Dahir A. Adan, 22, a junior at St. Cloud University, Sunday identified him as the man who stabbed nine people at the Crossroads Center shopping mall.
Police have yet to confirm the identity.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune said Ahmed Adan said his son had lived in the United States for 15 years and was unaware of any terrorist activities involving his son.
Members of the Somali community in St. Cloud held a news conference denying any ties to the Islamic State group, the al-Shabab terrorist group or any other terror organization.
The younger Adan reportedly said he was going to the mall to buy a new iPhone before the stabbing attacks.
The St. Cloud Times reported Adan was known as a smart, accomplished student who worked part-time as a security guard. He was last seen by family members about 7 p.m., about an hour before the stabbing attacks occurred.
UPDATED: 1:55 p.m. EDT — St. Cloud, Minnesota, Mayor Dave Kleis told a news conference Sunday a ninth victim reported to a hospital late Saturday in the wake of an attack at Crossroads Center shopping mall.
Three of the victims remain hospitalized. One of the victims was just 15 years old.
Kleis identified the off-duty police officer to killed the knife-wielding attacker as Avon Police Officer Jason Faulkner.
"He clearly prevented additional injuries and potential loss of life," Kleis said. "Clearly a hero. Officer Faulkner was there at the right time."
Police Chief William Blair Anderson said the attack, which began between 8 p.m. and 8:15 p.m., lasted 5 minutes.
Two search warrants have been executed in the investigation, Anderson said. The suspect's vehicle was found at the shopping mall and impounded.
Special FBI Agent-in-Charge Rick Thornton said the incident is being investigated as a potential act of terrorism. He said investigators have yet to determine whether the attacker was in contact with any terror group.
The Islamic State group Sunday claimed responsibility for the attack at a mall in Minnesota that left eight injured.
“The executor of the stabbing attacks in Minnesota yesterday [Saturday] was a soldier of the Islamic State and carried out the operation in response to calls to target the citizens of countries belonging to the crusader coalition,” the terror group’s Amaq news agency said in a statement.
The knife-wielding attacker, who was shot to death by an off-duty police officer, was wearing a private security uniform, made references to Allah and asked whether one person was Muslim during the attack at the Crossroads Center mall in St. Cloud, Police Chief William Blair Anderson told reporters, stopping short of characterizing the incident as a terrorist attack. Anderson said it was unclear whether the attacker was seeking or trying to avoid Muslims, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
Anderson said police had had prior contacts with the attacker during traffic stops.
“We will be diligent and get to the bottom of this,” Anderson pledged.
The mall was closed Sunday but was expected to reopen Monday.
Reuters reported the attacker entered the busy mall Saturday evening and launched attacks at several sites in the shopping center.
The wounded were taken to St. Cloud Hospital. No life-threatening injuries were reported.
“People came running around the corner and I freaked out because I thought it was a terrorist attack or something because I saw a lot of people, so I grabbed my kids,” Danny Carranza of Willmar told the St. Cloud Times. “I ran as much as I could and I heard someone yell ‘Stop! Stop!’ As soon as the door shut I heard gunshots.”
Sydney Weires, a freshman at the College of St. Benedict, said she saw someone dressed as a security guard sprinting down a hall.
“We saw these two guys. One guy was bleeding from the side of his face,” Weires said. “He was screaming at us, ‘get the f--- out!’ “ She said the second person had blood on the back of his shirt.
The attack coincided with bomb explosions in New York City and New Jersey Saturday.
The New York bombing left 29 injured. TMZ reported the bombing was captured on video by a camera across the street from the blast. Mayor Bill deBlasio said the bombing was intentional.
A second device that did not detonate was found a half-mile away. Police described it as a pressure-cooker device with wires and a cell phone attached in a garment bag.
In New Jersey, a garbage can exploded in a beach town shortly before a Marine Corps charity run was to begin. CNN reported three pipe-bomb-like devices had been wired together and only partially exploded.