On Sunday, Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku told reporters that police had no missing persons reports from the mall attack, and that authorities did not believe there were any hostages in the mall building when it partially collapsed.
He left open the possibility, however, that things might change.
“We think — unless the forensic investigation shows otherwise — we really do think that there were weren’t any hostages,” he said.
FBI agents, along with investigators from Britain, Canada and Germany, are participating in the investigation into the attack and are aiding Kenyan forensic experts poring through the mall complex. Results are not expected until later this week at the earliest.
In addition to the 61 civilians and 6 security troops reported killed in the attack, the government has said five of the attackers were killed by gunfire and at least one more is thought to be in the building’s rubble.
The militant group al-Shabab has said it carried out the mall attack to punish Kenya for sending its troops into neighboring Somalia to fight the al-Qaida-linked militant group that had seized large parts of that country for years before being dislodged from the capital, Mogadishu.