Dale Cregan is due to appear in court charged with the murders of two police officers in a gun and grenade attack.

Pcs Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone died following a bogus burglary call in Hattersley, Greater Manchester, on Tuesday.

Cregan is also accused of killing Mark Short at the Cotton Tree Inn in Droylsden, Tameside, on May 25 and his father David in an attack at his home in Clayton, Manchester, on August 10.

Meanwhile it has emerged that armed police staged a raid at the housing estate in Hattersley two weeks before two officers were targeted there. A search took place on the morning of August 16 at a house as part of the investigation to trace Cregan, who was wanted over the death of the Shorts. It is understood that no arrest was made.

Cregan, 29, also faces four charges of attempted murder, three in relation to the shooting in the Cotton Tree Inn on May 25. Michael Belcher, Ryan Pridding and John Short suffered leg and back injuries when an armed assailant wearing a balaclava entered the pub and shot them.

David Short, 46, who was found at his home in Folkestone Road East on August 10 after police were called there following reports of gunshots. A hand grenade was also used in that attack. Less than 10 minutes later, there was another grenade explosion outside a house in Luke Road in Droylsden. No-one was injured in that incident.

The fourth attempted murder charge relates to the incidents that day. Cregan is accused of trying to murder Sharon Hark. He will appear in custody at Manchester City Magistrates' Court.

Meanwhile, Greater Manchester Police said they had been given more time to question a 28-year-old man, named by sources as Stephen Garvey, who has been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder in relation to Pc Bone and Pc Hughes. This is due to expire at 9.15am on Saturday.

Following the deaths of the officers the Greater Manchester force has received 34,100 messages on its online book of condolence, more than 21,500 have been posted on the force's Facebook page and more than 1.3 million people have viewed the tribute to the officers on Facebook.

Police from across the country have also offered to provide cover so officers can attend the funerals of Pcs Bone and Hughes, he added. A 22-year-old, from Netherley, Merseyside, was bailed on Thursday night after he was arrested on Wednesday for setting up a Facebook page lauding Cregan as a "legend".