Shinzo Abe’s killer, driven by his mother’s financial ruin, a nervous loner who ignores the neighbors.

The man arrested for the murder of Shinzo Abe believed the former Japanese leader was linked to a religious group that he blamed for his mother’s financial ruin.

He spent months planning the attack with a homemade weapon, according to local media reports.

Tetsuya Yamagami, an unemployed 41-year-old, was identified by police as the suspect who approached Japan’s longest-serving prime minister from behind and opened fire, an attack that was captured on video.

Lean and bespectacled with shaggy hair, the suspect was seen pulling out onto the road behind Abe, who was standing at an intersection, before unloading two shots from a 16-inch gun wrapped in black tape. He was immediately accosted by police at the scene.

Yamagami was a loner who did not respond when spoken to, according to neighbors who spoke to Reuters. He believed Abe had promoted a religious group to which his mother made a “large donation”, the Kyodo news agency said, citing investigative sources.

Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had been on the campaign trail ahead of Sunday’s election.(AFP: Kazuhiko Hirano, Yomiuri, The Yomiuri Shimbun)

He told police his mother went bankrupt over the donation, the Yomiuri newspaper and other outlets reported.

“My mother got involved in a religious group and it bothered me,” Kyodo and others cited him to the police. But police declined to comment on details reported by Japanese media about Yamagami’s motive or preparation.

They also haven’t named the religious group he was allegedly upset with.

Yamagami assembled the weapon from parts bought online, spent months planning the attack and even attending other Abe campaign events, including one a day earlier some 200 kilometers away, local media reported.

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The moment the suspected gunman in Shinzo Abe’s shooting is knocked to the ground.

He had considered a bomb attack before opting for a weapon, according to public broadcaster NHK.

The suspect told police he made guns by wrapping steel tubes with duct tape, some of them with three, five or six tubes, from parts he bought online, NHK said.

Police found bullet holes in a sign attached to a campaign van near the scene of the shooting and believe they were from Yamagami, police said Saturday.

Videos showed Abe turning towards the shooter after the first shot before collapsing to the ground after the second.

‘It was like I was invisible’

Yamagami lived on the eighth floor of a small apartment building. The ground floor is lined with bars where patrons pay to drink and chat with hostesses. A karaoke bar has closed.

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