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Man detained in probe of German politician's death released

BERLIN (AP) — A man who was detained in an investigation of the fatal shooting of a regional official from Chancellor Angela Merkel's party has been released after questioning, German police said Sunday.

Walter Luebcke, who ran the Kassel area regional administration in central Germany, was found outside his home last Sunday by a relative. An autopsy confirmed a pistol shot to the head, fired at close range, and a homicide investigation was opened.

On Saturday, a man was taken into provisional custody in the case. Police said in a statement Sunday that he was questioned but let go in the early morning after "the questioning produced no indications that support a participation in the crime."

They said they would give no further information for now so as to protect the person and the ongoing investigation. Luebcke, a long-time member of Merkel's center-right Christian Democratic Union, in 2015 received threats after speaking out in support of helping asylum-seekers. The head of Hesse state's criminal police said last week that the threats from several years ago appeared to have no connection to the killing.

A funeral service for Luebcke is to be held in Kassel on Thursday, the local government told news agency dpa.

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