A hiker who says he was among the first on the scene of a quadruple murder in the French Alps has spoken of the horrific aftermath of the attack.
The French man, named only as Philippe D, 41, described how he saw "no sign of life" at the spot where the al Hilli family, on holiday from Britain, were attacked.
Philippe told Le Parisien newspaper how he had found seven-year-old Zainab, who had been shot in the shoulder and beaten around the head, lying "apparently dead" beside the family's bullet-riddled car.
He spoke to the girl and clapped his hands to get a reaction, but there was none.
"I leaned over the little girl," he said. "She did not reply to our calls. I clapped my hands, but she was not reacting.
"I even said a few words in English, as I saw the car had British licence plates, but nothing happened. As far as I was concerned she was dead."
The man was alerted to the horror by the so-far unidentified British cyclist who came hurtling down the mountain road towards him.Experts believe the gunman used a Skorpion
"This man was terrified and in a panic," said Philippe. "He explained to me in bad French that there was a drama a little higher up.
"He was trying to call an ambulance. I didn't know if he didn't have a mobile phone, or if his phone network was not connecting at this point."
Philippe said he saw the bodies of Zainab's parents and grandmother in the car, but "I could see there was nothing to be done and there was no sign of life".
After calling the emergency services Philippe and the British cyclist gave their dramatic accounts to police.
Philippe told the newspaper: "There wasn't a sound. It was like in a movie or one of those TV series where everything begins with a murder.
"Except this time the actors were us and we didn't have the remote control to change the channel. "
He and other witnesses were taken back to the scene on Sunday to recount where they had found Zainab and the murdered French cyclist Sylvain Mollier, 45, who was lying nearby and had apparently stumbled upon the shooting on Wednesday.The family's home in Surrey on Monday
Saad al Hilli, 50, from Claygate, Surrey, was killed in the family car alongside his dentist wife Iqbal. Her mother was also shot dead.
Zainab has now awoken from a medically-induced coma and has been able to have a brief discussion with officers in France, sources close to the investigation have said.
She is seen as a key witness to the attack, along with younger sister Zeena, four, who was found unharmed, cowering inside the car hours after police arrived. She has been flown back to Britain with carers.
It is unclear who will take custody of the two orphaned children.
Police are satisfied that just one gun - reportedly with a 7.65-calibre - was used in the attack near Lake Annecy, leading gun experts to point to a Czech-made machine gun called a Skorpion as the most likely weapon.
The Skorpion was developed in the 1950s for use by security and special forces and is reportedly still used by armed forces in some countries.Officers are examining the private and professional life of Mr al Hilli
All four who died were shot twice in the head and 25 bullet casings were found at the scene. The Skorpion usually carries up to 20 rounds but can be adapted to carry up to 30.
French officials said that despite media reports of the calibre of the weapon, they denied having confirmed "the nature, calibre and number of weapons used".
Officers are combing through CCTV as they attempt to trace a dark 4x4 vehicle spotted near the scene.
An investigation at the al Hilli family home appears to be winding down after British police identified items of concern and a bomb disposal squad was called in.
Neighbouring properties were evacuated as police focused on a shed at the bottom of the garden. Officers later said that the unidentified items were not hazardous.
Police were later using power tools to try to open a safe in the al Hilli home.
Some media reports have suggested that Mr al Hilli, an engineer who left Saddam Hussein's Iraq years ago, was known to the security services and was put under surveillance by Metropolitan Police Special Branch during the second Gulf war.