Attacks on women in Cologne and other German cities on New Year's Eve have prompted more than 600 criminal complaints, with police suspicion resting on asylum seekers, putting pressure on Chancellor Angela Merkel and her open door migrant policy.
The attacks, mostly targeting women and ranging from theft to sexual molestation, have prompted a highly-charged debate in Germany about its welcoming stance for refugees and migrants, more than one million of whom arrived last year.
The sudden nature of the violent attacks and the fact that they stretched from Hamburg to Frankfurt prompted Germany's justice minister Heiko Maas to speculate in a newspaper that they had been planned or coordinated.
The debate on migration will be further fueled by the acknowledgement by the authorities in North Rhine-Westphalia that a man shot dead as he tried to enter a Paris police station last week was an asylum seeker with seven identities who lived in Germany.
In Cologne, police said on Sunday that 516 criminal complaints had been filed by individuals or groups in relation to assaults on New Year's Eve, while police in Hamburg said 133 similar charges had been lodged with the north German city.
Frankfurt also registered complaints, although far fewer.