The man suspected of carrying out a deadly arson attack on a Japanese animation studio may have visited the area before, local media reported.

Neighbours spotted a man resembling Shinji Aoba near the Kyoto Animation (KyoAni) office before Thursday’s fire.

Mr Aoba, 41, who suffered severe burns, is in police custody and has been transferred to a hospital in Osaka.

On Saturday, a man died in hospital from his injuries, bringing the death toll from the attack to 34.

The fire swept through the studio’s offices on Thursday morning, injuring many others in what was one of Japan’s worst mass killings in recent years.

One woman told Kyodo news agency that she spotted a man resembling Mr Aoba close to the KyoAni building on Monday. She said the man was carrying two boxes that appeared to contain petrol cans.

Two students also reported seeing a man on Wednesday evening dressed similarly to the suspect. One of the students said the man resembled Mr Aoba and was lying on a bench approximately 500m (1640ft) away from the office.

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