The only remaining member of the Paris attack cell, Salah Abdeslam, reportedly purchased the electronic detonators used by the suicide bombers from a firework store. Abdeslam, who is on the run and is one of Europe's most wanted men, bought around 10 detonators from a retailer in Saint-Ouen-l'Aumône, north of Paris, after asking repeatedly about their reliability, Le Parisien newspaper reported.
The store's owner called the police when he recognised Abdeslam, who had purchased the detonators the month before, from a wanted poster. The 26-year-old terror suspect, who is suspected to have returned to his native Brussels after the attacks that killed 130 people, showed his driving licence before entering the high-security and CCTV camera-covered premises.
"Investigators are examining this element. We will see if it can be confirmed," a source told Le Parisien.
Le Parisien said the devices allegedly bought by the suspect were battery-operated detonators that when ignited produce a flame between 2cm-8cm in length, depending on the model.
The devices may have been used during the 13 November attacks in Paris, which saw eight terrorists blowing themselves up after the coordinated assaults on cafés, the Bataclan rock venue, and the national stadium. The ninth attacked was shot and killed by French police officers.
Police reportedly found this week a suicide vest dumped in a bin in the southern Paris suburb of Montrouge. The device was found, missing a detonator, in the bin near where Abdeslam was believed to have escaped to on the night of attacks.
Police believe that the terror suspect decided not to detonate his suicide vest, but it is unclear why he decided against it. Abdeslam, who had been living in the Molenbeek area of Brussels known for its links to Islamic State (Isis), used his own credit card to hire the cars used in the attack and booking hotel rooms for the suicide attackers. His brother Brahim blew himself up in the Paris attacks after walking into a café and detonating his explosive vest.