The Latest: Officials praise off-duty cop who ended attack

People stand near the entrance on the north side of Crossroads Center mall between Macy's and Target as officials investigate a reported multiple stabbing incident, Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016, in St. Cloud, Minn. Police said multiple people were injured at the St. Cloud shopping mall on Saturday evening in an attack possibly involving both shooting and stabbing. The suspect is believed to be dead, St. Cloud Police Sgt. Jason Burke told the St. Cloud Times. (Dave Schwarz/St. Cloud Times via AP)
People stand near the entrance on the north side of Crossroads Center mall between Macy's and Target as officials investigate a reported multiple stabbing incident, Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016, in St. Cloud, Minn. Police said multiple people were injured at the St. Cloud shopping mall on Saturday evening in an attack possibly involving both shooting and stabbing. The suspect is believed to be dead, St. Cloud Police Sgt. Jason Burke told the St. Cloud Times. (Dave Schwarz/St. Cloud Times via AP)

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) — The Latest on the stabbing of nine people at a central Minnesota shopping mall (all times local):

1:10 p.m.

An FBI official says investigators are viewing an attack at a Minnesota mall in which a man stabbed nine people as a possible act of terrorism.

FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Rick Thornton said Sunday that authorities are digging into the suspect’s background to determine his possible motivation for Saturday night’s attack at the Crossroads Center mall in St. Cloud.

St. Cloud’s mayor and police chief praised the swift actions of an off-duty, part-time Avon police officer for shooting and killing the attacker. They identified him as Officer Jason Falconer.

Mayor David Kleis says there were nine people who were hurt, not eight, as authorities previously reported. He says the ninth person took themselves to a hospital and was treated and released. Three of the victims remain hospitalized with injuries that aren’t considered life-threatening.

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11:50 a.m.

Three college freshmen who were shopping at a Minnesota mall when a man stabbed eight people say they saw two bloodied men stumble from a hallway.

Sydney Weires (weerz) says she was at Crossroads Center mall with two friends Saturday night when they heard a scream. She says she saw a man who looked like a security guard sprint down a hallway, and then two men stumbled out.

She says one had blood on his face, and the other had blood on his back. The men screamed to get out of the mall because someone had a knife.

Weires says she and her friends ran out of the mall.

Authorities say all of the injured are expected to survive. They say the suspect was dressed in a private security uniform and reportedly made references to Allah.

An off-duty police officer shot and killed him.

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11:10 a.m.

A Minnesota hospital official says three of the eight people who were attacked at a mall remain hospitalized.

St. Cloud Hospital spokeswoman Chris Nelson said Sunday that the other five people were released and that none of the three still at the hospital has injuries that are considered life-threatening.

St. Cloud’s police chief, Blair Anderson, earlier said that of the eight people who were stabbed in Saturday night’s attack, only one remained hospitalized.

Authorities say a man dressed in a private security uniform started stabbing people and reportedly made references to Allah. An off-duty police officer shot and killed him.

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10:20 a.m.

The FBI says it is assisting local police in the investigation into a man who stabbed and wounded eight people at a Minnesota mall.

Like the police, Minnesota FBI spokesman Kyle Loven declined to say Sunday if investigators believe Saturday night’s attack at the Crossroads Center mall in St. Cloud was a terrorist act.

Authorities say a man dressed as a security guard stabbed eight people and reportedly mentioned Allah and asked a victim if they were Muslim before attacking them.

The Islamic State group has claimed the attacker was one of its own, though it’s unclear if the group planned or even knew of the attack ahead of time.

An off-duty police officer shot and killed the attacker.

None of the victims had life-threatening wounds.

10 a.m.

An Islamic State-run news agency claims the man who stabbed and wounded eight people at a mall in Minnesota before being shot dead by an off-duty police officer was a “soldier of the Islamic State.”

The IS-run Rasd news agency reported the claim on Sunday, saying the attacker had heeded calls from the extremist group for attacks in countries that are part of a U.S.-led anti-IS coalition.

It was not immediately clear if the extremist group had planned the attack or even knew about it beforehand. IS has encouraged so-called “lone wolf” attacks. It has also claimed past attacks that are not believed to have been planned by its central leadership.

All eight victims from Saturday’s attack were treated at a hospital for wounds that weren’t life-threatening and all but one of them were later released.

2:40 a.m.

Eight people were injured during a stabbing attack at a Minnesota shopping mall that ended with the suspected attacker — who was dressed in a private security uniform and made references to Allah — shot dead by an off-duty police officer, authorities said.

St. Cloud Police Chief Blair Anderson says eight people were taken to St. Cloud Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries following the attack first reported about 8:15 p.m. Saturday at the Crossroads Center. One person was admitted. No further details were released.

Anderson said an off-duty police officer from another jurisdiction shot and killed the unidentified suspect, who was armed with a knife and wearing a private security firm uniform at the time of the attack.

St. Cloud is about 70 miles (112.65 kilometers) northwest of Minneapolis.

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