PARIS — Officials stopped, questioned and released one of three brothers linked to the deadly Paris attacks and who subsequently had an international warrant issued for his arrest, a top French official told NBC News.
The name of Salah Abdeslam was on rental documents for a Belgian-registered black Volkswagen Polo found outside the Bataclan concert hall where most of the 130 victims were killed on Friday, a senator told NBC News on condition of anonymity on Sunday.
This information had not been relayed to guards on the France-Belgium border in time and 26-year-old was released soon after being stopped, the senator said on condition of anonymity. An alert was put out later, which is when authorities realized they had just missed him.
Several raids were carried out in the Molenbeek area of Brussels on Monday but Abdeslam remained on the run, according to the Belgian prosecutor's office.
Abdeslam was one of three men in a getaway car that headed for the border when police pulled them over after daybreak Saturday, The Associated Press reported earlier.
"It was a simple check. There was no lookout notice at the time of the traffic stop," a French police official told the AP.
Abdeslam is allegedly the brother of another suspect currently in custody and being questioned — and of one of the deceased attackers, officials said.
French officials were working with authorities in Belgium, Spain, Serbia and Greece in an attempt to shed more light on the attack, which ISIS claimed responsibility for and which French President Francois Hollande described as an "act of war."
On Sunday, France's Justice Minister Christiane Taubira told NBC News that all seven attackers who participated in the attacks were dead but French authorities were still searching for accomplices,
"No one who has participated in the attack is still alive," she said.
Most of the attackers' bodies have been identified. At least three were French. Suspicion is centering on next door Belgium where it is thought the explosives belts were made and the cars rented.
Police in France and Belgium launched dozens of raids overnight as part of a colossal manhunt in the wake of the Paris attacks.