Police have arrested the main suspect involved in the rape and murder of a seven-year-old girl in the central Punjab province of Pakistan, a police official told Al Jazeera.
Police have carried out DNA test of more than 1,000 suspects.
Police sources confirmed suspect Imran Ali had confessed to his crime before an investigation team.
He informed that Zainab's rape and murder was the eighth incident of similar nature that had taken place in Kasur since June 2015.
The suspect's appearance also matches the appearance of the individual seen with Zainab in CCTV footage recovered by police, according to police sources.
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The child, Zainab Ansari, was brutally assaulted and her body was thrown in a garbage dump.
Her killing exposed a string of child abductions and murders by a suspected serial predator. Following that, the Punjab government had set up a special joint investigation team to find the murderer. Her parents had gone to Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah, and the girl was living with her aunts.
He lived in the same neighbourhood as the girl and reportedly knew her family. There were visible marks of torture on the face, congestion in her muscles, and her tongue was badly bruised and injured as it was pressed between her teeth.
Police on Tuesday arrested him from Pakpattan after his DNA matched samples taken from the crime scene.
Zainab's rape and murder had prompted widespread protests not just in Kasur but across the country, with mobs going violent against the police and lawmakers in some areas.