The truck driver who rammed his vehicle into a massive crowd in Nice fired a pistol several times before being shot dead by police, a local official said Friday.

“At the moment that he was shot dead by police, he had fired several times,” said president of the region Christian Estrosi.

A source close to the investigation said an “inactive” grenade was found inside the 19-tonne truck, as well as “several fake rifles”.

b’Police officials after the incident | Source: Reuters’

Regional lawmaker Eric Ciotti described “terrifying images, a scene of absolute horror, with many children among the dead”.

“Families who were sharing a moment of leisure were targeted. It was a symbolic day in a symbolic place. That… motivated the attack,” he said.

At least 84 people were killed in the attack when the truck barrelled into a crowd after a fireworks display for Bastille Day.