A cyclist passes a police officer standing at the vehicle barrier to the Houses of Parliament where a car crashed after knocking down cyclists and pedestrians the day before in Westminster, London, England, Aug. 15, 2018.
A cyclist passes a police officer standing at the vehicle barrier to the Houses of Parliament where a car crashed after knocking down cyclists and pedestrians the day before in Westminster, London, England, Aug. 15, 2018.

British counterterrorism police searched several properties Wednesday as they tried to determine what made a 29-year-old Sudan-born man crash a car outside Britain's Parliament in what police were treating as an act of terrorism.

Salih Khater, a British citizen of Sudanese origin, was arrested at the scene of Tuesday's crash. British authorities do not identify suspects by name until they are charged, but media reports and neighbors said the arrested man was Khater.

He was being held on suspicion of preparation of a terrorist act, as well as attempted murder.

Police said Wednesday that the priority for investigators remained figuring out the motivation behind the incident, which injured three people. Two of those hurt were taken to a hospital for treatment, but both have since been released.

This handout photo released by the Metropolitan Po
This handout photo released by the Metropolitan Police on Aug. 15, 2018, shows the silver Ford Fiesta after it crashed outside the Houses of Parliament in a suspected terror attack on Aug. 14.

Officers completed searches at two sites in the central England city of Birmingham, including the apartment where Khater lives, and one in Nottingham. A search was continuing Wednesday at a third site in Birmingham, 160 kilometers (100 miles) northwest of London.

Ali Mohamed, a member of Birmingham's Sudanese community, told reporters that Khater had gone to the Sudanese Embassy in London to apply for a visa to go back to his homeland.

Neil Basu, assistant commissioner of the London police, told reporters Tuesday that based on what authorities knew about the suspect so far, it did not appear that he was someone previously known to British counterterror or intelligence agencies.

Prime Minister Theresa May wrote in a post on Twitter:

President Donald Trump also reacted to the incident on Twitter:

Last year, a man drove a car into pedestrians on nearby Westminster Bridge, killing four people there before fatally stabbing a police officer outside Parliament. Police shot and killed that attacker.