A Frenchman killed in the London Bridge terror attack was an “exceptional man” who “did everything for his children”, his partner has said.
Xavier Thomas, 45, was visiting London when he was caught up in the attack as terrorists ploughed into pedestrians on London Bridge.
Mr Thomas’ body was pulled from the Thames near Limehouse, east London, on Wednesday, bringing the death toll of the attack to eight. All eight people killed in the massacre have now been identified. They include three Frenchmen, two Australian women, one Canadian woman, one Spanish man and one British man.
Mr Thomas’ partner Christine Delcros, 45, who was reportedly seriously injured in the attack, paid tribute to the French national, saying: “Xavier, my love, my sun, you have marked my heart for ever as no one had been able to before.
“I will cherish you intensively in my heart and that way our love will link us forever.
“You have been a father who did everything for his children and such a caring lover to me, that you could only be loved.
“I wish, during these difficult times, to pay tribute to the exceptional man you were and will still remain for us all. I love you. Your Christine.”
A statement from Mr Thomas 24-year-old daughter Noémie Thomas, on behalf of his family, said: “The things that were important to Xavier were his children and his work. Xavier would not be content with a quiet life, he needed to always discover more and he would include his children as soon as possible.
“Xavier was not attached to material things, he preferred to discover other cultures and other countries. He was very faithful to people; many professional encounters have often developed into friendships.”
On Friday police announced the latest arrest in connection with attack after a 29-year-old was held during a raid at a residential address in Newham, east London, in the early hours.
A total of 17 people have now been arrested as part of the investigation.
On Thursday a British Transport Police officer stabbed in the eye during the attack apologised to the families of the victims for not being able to do more.
As the investigation into the atrocity continues, relatives of the men involved have revealed the role online material played in radicalising them.
Fahad Khan, 36, the cousin of 27-year-old Khuram Butt’s wife Zahrah Rehman, claimed his younger relative drew inspiration from extremist videos on YouTube and wanted to fight in Syria but had his passport taken away by family.
And 21-year-old Youssef Zaghba’s mother said: “He had the internet and from there he got everything.”
Both men died alongside Rachid Redouane, 30, when armed police opened fire on them just eight minutes after they launched their attack.