Luka Rocco Magnotta, suspected of killing a Chinese university student in Montreal and mailing the dismembered body parts to Canadian political parties, has been arrested at an internet café in Berlin where he was reportedly reading stories about himself.

Magnotta, 29, is wanted by Montreal authorities on first-degree murder and other charges, including threatening Canadian politicians, in a case that has drawn international attention and spawned one of the largest manhunts in Montreal police history.

Montreal police Cmdr. Ian Lafrenière said Magnotta's identity was confirmed through fingerprint evidence.

"The investigation is far from being over. We've got to bring the suspect down to Canada to face justice," said Lafrenière, who added that some of the dead student's body parts are still missing.

Luka Rocco Magnotta

Who is the 29-year-old who sparked an international manhunt?

"There will be tons of questions to answer," he said.

Magnotta was arrested in Berlin on an Interpol "red notice," which under German law is considered a "provisional request from Canada for his extradition," Julie Di Mambo, press secretary for Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said in a statement.

Canada is now required to submit a formal request for Magnotta's extradition, accompanied by "documentation outlining the evidence supporting the request," the statement said.

It's unclear, however, when Magnotta will actually set foot on Canadian soil.

"It could take a very long time," said Rene Verret, a spokesman for Quebec's bureau of prosecutions.

Verret said his office will send a request in the coming days to Nicholson for Magnotta's extradition, asking that it be forwarded to German officials. However, the legal process could extend for months if the extradition is contested.

Investigators are scheduled to hold a news conference Tuesday to provide more details on the case. It is their priority to return the accused killer to Canada.

Magnotta is suspected of killing Jun Lin — a 33-year-old Chinese university student with whom he had a relationship —  recording video of the attack and mailing the victim's dismembered body parts to federal political parties in Ottawa.

Berlin police spokesman Chief Supt. Stefan Redlich told CBC News that authorities arrested Magnotta at 2 p.m. Berlin time (8 a.m. ET) at the Helin Café on Karl Marx Street.

Seven officers were involved in the arrest, which was made after police were tipped off. 

"As far as I know he was arrested alone, and there was no struggle," Redlich said.

There is no doubt about the suspect's identity, and "he is the person Canada is looking for," he added.

Magnotta 'went quietly'

The café's owner, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he witnessed the arrest.

"A colleague recognized him from his photo, because he'd just read the newspaper," said the owner. "Nothing happened, it all went very quietly," he said.

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People pass the Berlin internet café where Magnotta was arrested. (Markus Schreiber/Associated Press)

Kadir Anlayisli, the man who recognized the suspect and called police, works in the after-hours tobacco shop of the café. Berlin police confirmed that the arrest was mostly straightforward, but added that Magnotta initially denied his identity. Eventually he admitted, "OK, you got me."

Magnotta is being held at the Berlin prison and is expected to be brought before a German judge on Tuesday.

But he likely won't be questioned about the alleged crimes in Montreal, as "this is a Canadian case," Redlich said.

Montreal police say they learned of Magnotta's arrest at 12:40 p.m. ET, and the news came as a great relief for many investigators, said Lafrenière.

"We thank the media who broadcast his photo, and information on the web also had a part in coming to this result," said Lafrenière.

Police will hold a full briefing on the case on Tuesday morning. Magnotta, dubbed the "Butcher of Montreal" by European media and "Canadian Psycho" at large, was spotted in Paris on the weekend, at a local café and in a hotel, after fleeing Montreal last week.

Magnotta had been reading stories about himself

Berlin-based freelance reporter Allan Hall said Anlayisli, who identified Magnotta, immediately recognized the man.

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Magnotta has a sprawling internet presence. (Montreal Police Service)

The café employee said Magnotta had been seated at computer number 25 reading stories about himself online. Anlayisli ran outside to flag down police.

"Anlayisli said the first police car stopped and the guy didn't take him seriously," Hall told CBC News in a telephone interview. "He had to stop another police car, then come into the internet café. The second police car called for backup."

Hall added that Magnotta left his hotel in Paris on Friday and paid €100 to travel 14 hours from Paris to Berlin. Magnotta did not have to show a passport due to open border policies, he added. Police are working to reconstruct the timeline of Magnotta's movements.

If investigators discover that Magnotta committed crimes while in Germany, the extradition process may become more complicated, reported Hall.

Harper congratulates police

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Kadir Anlayisli, who identified Luka Rocco Magnotta and warned police, stands next to the Berlin internet café where the suspect was arrested. (Markus Schreiber/Associated Press)

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who is in London for the Queen's jubilee celebration, told reporters he is "pleased" Magnotta has been arrested.

"I just want to congratulate the police forces on their good work," Harper said.

Lin friends relieved Magnotta captured

Friends of Jun (Justin) Lin, some of whose remains were discovered last week after they were sent to the federal Liberal and Conservative parties in Ottawa, are expressing relief over his suspected killer's capture.

Read more. 

The prime minister is named, along with other Canadian politicians, in the police arrest warrant issued after Lin's murder.

Magnotta is accused of criminally harassing Harper and other members of Parliament.

Interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae asked Canadians to remember the victim.

"Let's not forget that a young man was killed in the most terrible of circumstances. He came to Canada to improve himself, and to improve his life, and he is dead.

"His family in China is mourning, and his friends are in mourning, and all of Canada should be mourning for the person who died, rather than … celebrate the notoriety of Mr. Magnotta." 

Magnotta also faces charges of first-degree murder, committing an indignity to a dead body, publishing an obscene thing, and mailing obscene matter.

 

With files from The Associated Press and The Canadian Press