German police have raided the homes of three former members of the Hitler Youth as part of an investigation into a massacre carried out by the Nazis in the north of France during World War II.
Police have been gathering evidence on the case for years and have since been able to identify the suspects, officials said on Friday.
The men are thought to have been involved in the mass murder of 86 people in the village of Ascq in northern France in 1944.
The three men, aged around 90, have admitted that they were members of the Nazi SS troop but deny any involvement in the killings, investigators said.
The massacre was a retaliation to an attack on German troops on April 1, 1944, as they advanced towards Normandy. The Nazi officers who ordered the revenge killings were brought to justice after the war.
The massacre of Ascq is just one of many accusations facing the three suspects. They are implicated in other wartime killings, including that of a US parachute jumper after he landed on German soil.
The investigation focuses on crimes committed between April 1944 and May 1945. "Ascq, however, is the most serious case," Brendel said.
It remains unclear whether the three men will have to answer to the charges in court.