Trapero emphasized that the alleged terrorist cell had been months planning an onslaught of more far-reaching objectives against Barcelona, but the detonation by accident in the dwelling of Alcanar, where cylinders of butane were manipulated, partly truncated their plans.
But one man got away, and managed to slash a woman who later died of her wounds.
It’s the latest in attacks by extremists which turn the everyday, like the auto, into deadly weapons.
Although ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying its soldiers carried out the attack, it didn’t provide any evidence to back up their claim.
The attackers emerged from their vehicle, wearing fake explosive belts, after it overturned and were fired upon by police. Police then shot and killed five members of the terrorist cell.
Traces of triacetone triperoxide (TATP) – a homemade explosive that is an IS hallmark – were also found at the bomb factory in Alcanar, about 200 kilometres south of Barcelona, where the gas canisters were uncovered.
“We are optimistic, but the searching operation conducted by the Mossos (police authority in Catalonia) cannot be considered as finished until we determine and stop all the people who are members of the cell”, said Forn.
So far, four people have been arrested and are being questioned by police.
Another of the arrested suspects is a Spanish national in Melilla, a Spanish territory in North Africa.
Moussa Oukabir, aged 17 or 18, Said Aallaa, 19, and Mohamed Hychami, 24, were among those killed by officers. One of the suspects involved in the Barcelona attack was found dead in a auto three kilometers from where police officers tried to stop him by firing at the vehicle he was in.
Police also tweeted that they used a robot to approach the body.
King Mohammed VI of Morocco sent his condolences to Spain, and US President Donald Trump spoke to Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy from aboard Air Force One.
Islamist militants have staged several attacks in Europe recently involving vehicles plowing into crowds, but not in Spain, until now.
People pay respects at a memorial tribute of flowers, messages and candles to the victims on Barcelona’s historic Las Ramblas promenade. There was a defiant atmosphere around the stadium as supporters shouted “Viva Barcelona” and “Viva Catalonia”.