Police identify man suspected of starting deadly fire at Osaka mental clinic

Japan Times -- Dec 20
Police on Sunday identified Morio Tanimoto as the 61-year-old male patient suspected of starting a fire at a mental clinic in Osaka two days earlier that killed 24 people.

Tanimoto, who remains in a serious condition, was among 27 people taken to hospitals after the fire raced through the clinic in a multiple tenant building in the city Friday.

Tanimoto, known as a skilled construction sheet metal worker, was employed at an Osaka factory until 2010. A daily work log he left behind in his last year on the job paints him as a hardworking individual.

“If he couldn’t finish his work on time, he would come to the factory even on Sundays to work. That was how seriously he took it,” said the company’s president.

According to the president, Tanimoto entered his company in 2002 after working for his father who ran another sheet metal factory. He left suddenly in 2008 but asked to be employed again the following year.

Around a year later, he quit again for unknown reasons and the company lost contact with him.

In April 2011, Tanimoto was arrested by police on suspicion of attempted murder after stabbing his son in the head with a kitchen knife.

大阪・北新地のクリニックで24人が亡くなった火事で、容疑者とみられる男が自転車で現場の方向へ向かう様子が防犯カメラに映っていました。 - ANNnewsCH