The exact circumstances of the attack in Munich were unclear as this newspaper went to press last night.
The number of attackers was not known for sure, nor was the number of locations that had been attacked.
The motivation for the atrocity was also unknown.
Those details do not need to be known for us all to be able to make some observations.
Attacks by individuals or lone attackers are becoming an almost daily fact of life. The main ideology that drives such attacks is fanatical Islam, but it is by no means the only one. The deranged attack in Norway in 2011 in which 77 people were massacred was by a far right extremist.
The bomb in Oklahoma in 1995 in which 168 people were slaughtered was also by a far right extremist.
It will be impossible to prevent future such attacks. As Israel knows, after it suddenly found itself subject to random stabbings, unless you ban all knives you cannot stop an individual suddenly using an everyday device as a deadly weapon.
We report today how Donald Trump pledged to Republican Party activists that he would make America safe if he was elected president, but in truth the US is particularly prone to atrocities by individuals because of its liberal gun laws.
Many of the people who are attracted to extremist philosophies are deeply disturbed individuals.
Stigmatising the most fanatical ideologies – those which say that it is a good thing to kill civilians – ought to be something on which all civilised nations can agree.
Countering such attacks will be a long, slow battle.
Intelligence agencies will need to be very well equipped.
Civil liberties will have to be somewhat curbed.
We can only grind on and show the lunatics that they will not be able to stop entire societies and hope that they will realise they are squandering their own lives, as well as those of innocents, on behalf of unachievable and demented dreams.