Manhunt underway after chainsaw attacker wounds five in Swiss town of Schaffhausen

SCHAFFHAUSEN, Switzerland, July 24 (Reuters) - A chainsaw-wielding loner who mostly lived in the woods stormed into an insurance office in a Swiss town on Monday, wounding two members of staff and three other people before fleeing, police said.

Police put the center of Schaffhausen into lockdown and launched a manhunt for the suspect they identified as 51-year-old Franz Wrousis. They said the assault was "not an act of terror," but also not random.

"This is not an attack against a hypothetical person. This is clearly against people from the insurer," police Major Ravi Landolt told a news conference, adding that the exact motive was still under investigation.

Swiss authorities distributed pictures of the suspect whom Chief Prosecutor Peter Sticher described as "aggressive, dangerous and mentally conspicuous."

RELATED: A look at the scene of the crime

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Chainsaw attacker leaves five wounded in Schaffhausen
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Chainsaw attacker leaves five wounded in Schaffhausen
A Swiss police officer guards a crime scene of an attack by an unidentified man in the Swiss town of Schaffhausen, Switzerland July 24, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann
Swiss police officers stand at a crime scene in Schaffhausen, Switzerland July 24, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann
Swiss police officers stand at a crime scene in Schaffhausen, Switzerland July 24, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann
Police are seen in the old quarter of Schaffhausen, northern Switzerland, where a man armed with a chainsaw injured at least five people in an attack on July 24, 2017. The attacker has been identified and is believed to be on the run in a vehicle, ATS said, citing the police. According to the agency, police have said the attack was not 'a terrorist act.' / AFP PHOTO / MICHAEL BUHOLZER (Photo credit should read MICHAEL BUHOLZER/AFP/Getty Images)
Swiss policemen stand guard behind a police cordon in the old quarter of Schaffhausen, northern Switzerland on July 24, 2017, after a man armed with a chainsaw injured at least five people in an attack. The attacker has been identified and is believed to be on the run in a vehicle, ATS news agency said, citing the police. According to the agency, police have said the attack was not 'a terrorist act.' / AFP PHOTO / MICHAEL BUHOLZER (Photo credit should read MICHAEL BUHOLZER/AFP/Getty Images)
Swiss police arrive to set up a barrier at a crime scene in the old quarter of Schaffhausen, northern Switzerland on July 24, 2017, after a man armed with a chainsaw injured at least five people in an attack. The attacker has been identified and is believed to be on the run in a vehicle, ATS news agency said, citing the police. According to the agency, police have said the attack was not 'a terrorist act.' / AFP PHOTO / MICHAEL BUHOLZER (Photo credit should read MICHAEL BUHOLZER/AFP/Getty Images)
Swiss police are seen in the old quarter of Schaffhausen, northern Switzerland on July 24, 2017, after a man armed with a chainsaw injured at least five people in an attack. The attacker has been identified and is believed to be on the run in a vehicle, ATS news agency said, citing the police. According to the agency, police have said the attack was not 'a terrorist act.' / AFP PHOTO / MICHAEL BUHOLZER (Photo credit should read MICHAEL BUHOLZER/AFP/Getty Images)
An armed policeman stands next to ambulance cars in the old quarter of Schaffhausen, northern Switzerland on July 24, 2017, after a man armed with a chainsaw injured at least five people in an attack. The attacker has been identified and is believed to be on the run in a vehicle, ATS news agency said, citing the police. According to the agency, police have said the attack was not 'a terrorist act.' / AFP PHOTO / MICHAEL BUHOLZER (Photo credit should read MICHAEL BUHOLZER/AFP/Getty Images)
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They warned residents to avoid contact with the man, who they said had twice been convicted of weapons offenses and was believed to be living in the wild since moving out of a home in the eastern Swiss canton of Grisons.

Two of the victims were seriously injured but their lives were not in danger.

Swiss health insurer CSS said two of its employees were injured when the man charged into their office on a shopping street in the center of Schaffhausen, a medieval town of 36,000 people on Switzerland's northern border with Germany.

"They're currently in the hospital and being operated on," a spokeswoman said.

CSS did not yet have information on any possible link the suspect might have to the company, she said, and also did not know if the three others injured were customers or passersby.

Police said the other three victims had been in the same office building or in the immediate vicinity.

Police had recovered a vehicle sought in connection with the incident, which they said was apparently the work of the single suspect. (Additonal reporting by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi in Zurich; editing by Michael Shields and Mark Heinrich)

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