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Dallas shooting: Bomb material found at suspect's home
Police Chief David Brown said the suspect had told a negotiator that he had wanted to kill white people, especially white police officers, because he was angry about the recent shootings of black men by police.
Mr Brown added that the man had said he was not affiliated with any groups and he had acted alone.
US Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson appeared to confirm this in a statement later on Friday.
"At this time there appears to have been one gunman with no known links to or inspiration from any international terrorist organisation," he told a news conference in New York.
Police arrested three people and initially said they believed at least two snipers had caught police in crossfire, shooting some officers in the back.