'We believe a security guard at the nursery set himself on fire and set fire to children in the kindergarten'.
A Brazilian nursery school guard burned six small children and a teacher to death after spraying them with alcohol and setting them alight on Thursday in an attack which has horrified the nation.
The guard threw gasoline over children at the nursery, and over himself then set the fuel on fire at the Innocent Children's People Municipal Education Centre in Janaúba, in Minas Gerias, south east Brazil, police say.
The mayor of Janauba - population 70,000 - declared seven days of mourning.
There were 80 children in the day care when the incident happened, and the police have confirmed four children and a teacher have died, while nine others are in a critical condition. Some 40 people were taken to local hospitals.
The guard, who was aged about 50 and named as Damião Soares dos Santos, was badly burnt and later died of his injuries.
"My little girl was so good, so smart", Nelson de Jesus Silva, the father of one victim, Ana Clara Ferreira, told Globonews TV. "I woke him up early to bring him here and when I saw him again he was dead in the hospital", said Jane Kelly of her dead son Juan Miguel Soares.
Investigators are still trying to determine a motive for the brutal attack.
He was reported to have mental health issues.
Officers found numerous bottles of alcohol at his home, Nunes said.
Witnesses told media that the man, in his 50s, had been working as a night guard at the nursery for eight years.
President Michel Temer expressed his sympathy to the families.