'Very important' items found in Manchester attack investigation

"Very important" items have been found in property searches after the Manchester attack and "significant" arrests have been made, say police.

Eight men are currently in custody, including the bomber's older brother.

Two more people were arrested overnight in Greater Manchester, following other raids and arrests on Wednesday in Manchester, Wigan and Nuneaton in Warwickshire.

Chief Constable Ian Hopkins told reporters: "The arrests that we have made are significant, and initial searches of premises have revealed items that we believe are very important to the investigation."

:: LIVE: The latest updates on the Manchester attack

He said "associated searches" were now taking place at a number of addresses.

A Whitehall source told Sky News that bomber Salman Abedi was one of many former "subjects of interest" (SOI) for MI5, and apparently not being actively investigated.

The source said: "Abedi was one of a larger pool of former subjects of interest whose risk remained subject to review by MI5 and its partners.

"Where former SOIs show sufficient risk of re-engaging in terrorism, MI5 can consider reopening the investigation, but this process inevitably relies on difficult professional judgements based on partial information."

The source said MI5 is managing 500 active investigations, involving some 3,000 subjects at any one time.

:: Why many terror suspects are not being watched

People across the country fell silent at 11am to remember the 22 people murdered by Abedi at Manchester Arena.

Thousands paused at their workplaces, and crowds stopped at public places including Manchester's Albert Square and Trafalgar Square in London.

Minutes ahead of the Queen's arrival, doctors and nurses at Royal Manchester Children's Hospital also stood together to remember the victims - many of whom are still being treated.

Police are continuing to piece together the killer's final days, with the 22-year-old transiting through Dusseldorf in Germany about four days before the attack.

It is believed he was on his way back from a trip to Libya, where his younger brother and father live. They, too, have now been arrested.

CCTV footage also appears to place Abedi at Manchester's Arndale shopping centre at around 8pm on Friday.

Images show a man with a backpack similar to the one pictured blown to shreds in photos leaked to US media.

The pictures are said to have caused fury among police and security services, with Theresa May to raise the issue with Donald Trump at the NATO summit, and some intelligence sharing put on pause.

The night of his attack, Abedi stayed in a £75-per-night flat close to the arena.

Police have said it is "very clear" there is a "terror network" that is likely to have helped the Manchester-born attacker.

Sky News has found Abedi had links to an Islamic State cell which operated in the city, and knew one of the terror group's most prolific recruiters.

The sophistication of Abedi's device has led to concerns a bomb maker could still be at large.

Police searched a semi-detached house in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, overnight, after a man was arrested there on Wednesday.

Neighbours said a Libyan-born father-of-five named named Naser Elshetwi lived at the house, but the identity of the person arrested has not been confirmed.

Police in balaclavas also mounted an early-morning raid at a house in Manchester's Moss Side, using a controlled explosion to gain entry. No arrests were reported by police.

There was another overnight raid on a flat in the city's Withington area - where one man was arrested.

Neighbours said a man and woman lived there with three children. One resident in the street told reporters she had spoken to the woman, who said she was from Libya.

:: The victims of the Manchester terror attack

Meanwhile, Abedi's father and brother have also been detained in Libya.

Ramadan Abedi, and 20-year-old Hashem Abedi were arrested in capital, Tripoli.

Authorities say Hashem was preparing his own attack in the city and knew about his brother's plot.

When arrested he is reported to have said: "I have ideology with my brother... I know everything about my brother, what he was doing there in Manchester."