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Obama: Dallas police force needs respect not scorn

President Obama told a memorial service for the five Dallas police officers killed by a sniper, that the force needs respect, and not scorn.

The President, in Texas with his predecessor George W Bush, praised the police's bravery, saying the "overwhelming majority" do their jobs "fairly and professionally".

But he admitted that people across the country were struggling with the recent shootings and that racism was an enduring problem in America.

Our Washington Correspondent Robert Moore reports:

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Dallas gunman blamed police for losing custody of son

A man who attacked Dallas Police headquarters and sprayed the building with bullets during a wild street battle before being killed by a police sniper had blamed police over losing custody of his son.

Police shot dead the suspect after a gun battle Credit: Reuters

Dallas Police chief David Brown said the suspect identified himself to authorities as James Boulware, and he blamed police for having lost custody of his son and for "accusing him of being a terrorist".

Officials declined to officially identify the suspect until a coroner verified it.

Boulware's father, who said his son had strong feelings against law enforcement after he lost custody of his son, now 12 or 13 years old, last spoke with him by telephone about three hours before Dallas Police said the shooting began.

"Not being able to get a job and the legal system letting him down, (he) finally snapped," the elder James Boulware said in a telephone interview before police arrived. "But I can't say shooting at a police station is right in any way."

Dallas Police confirm death of shootout suspect

Dallas Police has officially confirmed the suspect in a shootout at its headquarters has been killed:

Official reports also confirmed that two "additional pipe bombs" had been discovered in the suspect's van after bomb technicians were able to safely approach and investigate the vehicle:

Pictures reveal damage after Dallas Police shootout

Pictures showing the aftermath of a shootout at Dallas Police headquarters have shown the damage caused by the gunman's attack.

In the pictures, posted on Texas Police Major Max Geron's Twitter account, bullet holes can be seen in windows and walls of the first and second floors of the building:

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