A suspected serial killer dubbed the Volga Maniac who is believed to have strangled at least 26 elderly women to death has been arrested in Russia.
Police said they arrested a man suspected of robbing and killing the women between 2011 and 2012 today, after investigators carried out thousands of genetic tests.
The Investigative Committee said 'painstaking and systematic work' had led it to conclude locksmith Radik Tagirov, 38, murdered the women across central Russia.
It said: 'Based on the results of forensic research and biological analysis, it was established that all of the acts were committed by one person.'
Radik Tagirov, 38, (pictured) has been arrested on suspicion of the murder of at least 26 elderly women between 2011 and 2012 in Kazan, Russia
The Investigative Committee said 'painstaking and systematic work' had led it to conclude the locksmith (pictured in police custody) murdered the women across central Russia
The body charged with probing probing major crimes added that more than 10,000 genetic tests had been carried out.
It said that 'the genotype and footprints of the attacker' and 'the pattern of his actions' matched those of Tagirov.
He is believed to have posed as a social services worker to enter the women's apartments, who lived alone and were aged between 75 and 90 years old.
Tagirov is a resident of the city of Kazan, where nine of the murders took place, and was convicted of theft in 2009.
Investigators said biological samples they had obtained from Tagirov were to undergo genetic examination.
Tagirov confessed following his detention, reported the Moscow Times.
Reports suggest the total number of Tagirov's victims could be up to 32, making him one of Russia's most prolific serial killers of all time. Pictured: Siberian ex-policeman Mikhail Popkov was convicted of 78 murders carried out between 1992 and 2007
Reports suggest the total number of his victims could be up to 32, making him one of Russia's most prolific serial killers of all time.
Siberian ex-policeman Mikhail Popkov was convicted of 78 murders carried out between 1992 and 2007, when he raped and killed women with an axe or hammer after offering them late-night rides.
Alexander Pichushkin - the so-called 'Chessboard Killer' - was sentenced to life in prison in Moscow in 2007 for 48 murders, most between 2002 and 2006.
He said he wanted to kill one person for each of the 64 squares on a chessboard, and crossed out a square for every kill.