While so-called lone wolves or small groups using commonplace items like cars or knives to carry out attacks are notoriously hard to track, the killer in Nice rented the huge 19-ft. truck, which some analysts say could be a way in for law enforcement to do track his movements, or find more information on his ties to Islamist leaders overseas or fellow militants already inside France. In the wake of the horrific attack in Nice, French President Francois Hollande addressed the nation, announcing that he will extend a country-wide state of emergency and accelerate attacks on Daesh in Iraq and Syria. The Parliament shall take a decision on the matter from today until next week.
"I realized right away it was a terrorist attack when I saw the truck crushing people", said Antonio Arribas, who was with his cousin, Diego.
Today at 09:00 local time, a restricted Security Council and defense in the Elysee Palace is scheduled.
He denied there were security failures and that the attack could have been prevented. In the last few weeks, France successfully held the Euro 2016 football tournament without any terrorism-related incidents. Some were "hanging between life and death", a hospital official said.
Authorities said they found identity papers belonging to a 31-year-old French-Tunisian citizen in the 25-tonne truck, weapons and grenades. El Shafei said he saw the driver, later identified by authorities as Mohamed Bouhlel, fire back through a window.
"It is clear we need to do all we can to fight against terrorism", he said.
Ultimately, the critical problem raised by the events in Nice can be boiled down to one question: how was someone able to drive a lorry through a packed crowd until he was forced to stop and shot by the police?
Damien Allemand, a journalist for the Nice-Matin newspaper who was at the waterside, said the fireworks display had finished and the crowd had got up to leave when they heard a noise and cries.
The attack has shocked France, with Prime Minister Manuel Valls declaring three days of mourning. In September 2014, then-IS spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Adnani referred to "the filthy French", telling Muslims within the country to attack them in any way they could, including "crush them with your auto".
The President sent out a statement Thursday evening expressing condolences to the French people and offering USA assistance to the French government with the investigation.