Surrey police ordered people living within two streets of the al-Hilli family home in Claygate out of the area owing to “concerns around items” at the property.
According to the Telegraph newspaper, bomb squad officials and army officers were seen arriving at the home just before 10am today, although there has been no official comment on the nature of the items discovered.
However, a Surrey police spokesperson did confirm that a bomb disposal unit assessment was being carried out at the Claygate property.
The spokesperson added: “Surrey Police can confirm that due to concerns around items found at the address on Oaken Lane, Claygate, officers have extended the cordon surrounding the property.
“Neighbours in the immediate area are being temporarily evacuated.”
The Daily Mail reported that the dramatic turn of events is believed to centre around items discovered in the garden shed.
The development adds yet another twist to what is proving to be a complicated case.
Saad al-Hilli, his wife Iqbal and his mother-in-law were all shot dead in their car while on holiday in the French Alps, with each of them receiving two bullets to the head.
In addition, a passing cyclist was killed, presumably for disturbing the attack.
The al-Hilli’s young daughters survived. The youngest, aged four, was discovered unhurt and hiding under the bodies. The elder, aged seven, was found severely beaten in the road. She is believed to have now woken from a medically induced coma and could prove the key to cracking the case.
French police are now believed to be hunting at least two killers after forensic analysis of cartridges found at the scene suggest they were fired by more than one shooter, according to reports.
A swirl of rumours surround the case, from claims that there could have been an inheritcance row between Saad and his brother, to a theory that the family may have stumbled across a drug deal.