The director of the youth psychiatric home where the 13-year-old was confined said the boy did not comprehend the potential consequences of the fire he admitted he started in the hallway of a home for refugees in Hamburg, TheLocal.de reported Monday
The Wednesday night fire killed a 33-year-old Pakistani woman and her two preteen children, authorities said. Another 27 people were injured, 15 of whom required hospitalization.
Detectives determined the blaze was set by the 13-year-old after they interviewed witnesses and watched security video.
Police said in a statement Saturday the teen, a member of the Hamburg fire brigade cadets, confessed to sneaking into the house and lighting a fire in a baby carriage that was in a hallway, TheLocal.de reported.
Michael Schulte-Markwort, director of the psychiatric clinic, said in a statement, "The consequences of his actions were not clear to him. His actions were neither politically nor personally motivated."
Schulte-Markwort said the boy didn't have any knowledge about the house or its occupants, and he wasn't "one of these arsonists who want to experience a call-out with the fire brigade," the Hamburger Morgenpost reported.
"His membership of the fire brigade cadets was important to him for a feeling of belonging," Schulte-Markwort said.