The National Crime Agency has been drafted in by the police to determine if chemical attack suspect Abdul Ezedi is getting help from an organised gang to evade capture.
The organisation, which is effectively the UK’s equivalent of the FBI, will assist the Met as the hunt for the 35-year-old enters its fourth day.
Ezedi is wanted after allegedly using a corrosive substance to attack a 31-year-old mother and her two children in the south London district on Wednesday night. The woman is said to have been known to the attacker, who also sustained injuries.
On Saturday, the Met released new photos and footage from raids they have carried out in the hunt which has taken them to Ezedi’s Newcastle home and other London addresses.
Forensic tests are now being carried out to check if they held the substance used during the attack.
Also on Saturday, Ezedi’s brother Hassan has called on him to turn himself in to authorities.
The suspect was last seen boarding a southbound Victoria line Tube from King's Cross station at 9pm on Wednesday. He was seen staggering with injuries to his face.
The National Crime Agency has not commented on Sunday’s reports that it is now involved.
The UK’s immigration service has also faced questions about how the former Afghani national Ezedi was able to live in Newcastle. His case was reportedly a “margin call” that was influenced by his supposed conversion to Christianity.
An asylum seeker can claim asylum in the UK on the basis of religious persecution in their native country.
It is not yet known which Christian denomination the person who reportedly assisted Ezedi was from.
The Church of England said it is currently not aware of any links to its churches, with a spokesperson adding that it is "the role of the Home Office, and not the Church, to vet asylum seekers and judge the merits of their individual cases".