Published: 16:30, 05 May 2021
| Updated: 10:44, 06 May 2021
Officers investigating the murder of PCSO Julia James' have received more than 700 pieces of information to help their inquiry and will make "absolutely every effort to solve the crime."
Julia James was last seen on Tuesday afternoon, when she was tragically found dead on the outskirts of Snowdown, near Canterbury.
Earlier today a photo of what officers think she was wearing when she was killed was released to help spark a memory of someone who may have seen her.
In a press briefing today Assistant Chief Constable Tom Richards said: "This is an awful tragic incident that we are investigating.
"Julia was murdered on the edge of Ackolt Wood eight days ago and we've been investigating relentlessly since then.
"I would like to thank particularly the residents of Snowdown and Aylesham who have been massively supportive and patient with the investigation.
They've provided over 700 pieces of information to the investigation team. That is so important to piece everything together that happened at that time.
Watch the press conference in Folkestone
ACC Richards confirmed that Mrs James had been alone at home when she went to take her dog Toby for a walk.
He added: "We have no motives for this attack and we don't know whether this was done by somebody Julia knew or whether this was a stranger attack, which would be particularly frightening to local residents.
"We are also trying to establish the route the offended took to reach the location and leave it."
ACC Richards also said that hundreds of officers were involved in the investigation and it was expected they would be at the scene for weeks.
"We will make absolutely every effort to solve this. This is the number one priority for Kent Police..."
He added: "The family are being very brave and courageous during an incredibly difficult time.
"We will make absolutely every effort to solve this. This is the number one priority for Kent Police."
He added that this case was not linked to other offences, making it a more difficult investigation.
He said there was no suspect in mind at present and said: "This also makes it a hugely challenging investigation as we usually have a suspect early on. But we are keeping an open mind."
He said police were trying to confirm whether the killer had come on foot, by private vehicle or public transport.
Both Aylesham and Snowdown and Nonnington Halt railway stations are close by and cameras there are among the CCTV being looked at.
Julia was found at around 4pm by members of the public and a post-mortem later confirmed she had died of significant head injuries.
Officers from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate have also released images of part of the crime scene which they are keen to receive more information about.
In particular, detectives would like to speak to anyone who was within the area defined by the red lines in the map between 1pm and 4.30pm last Tuesday (April 27).
That area is contained by boundaries of the pathways of Spinney Lane to the North, Aylesham Road to the East, Holt Street to the South and Pond Lane to the West.
Officers will continue to conduct as many house-to-house enquiries as possible and many local residents in the Aylesham and Snowdown area can expect a visit from officers to allow them to discuss any concerns they may have as well as provide any information which could assist the investigation.
Yesterday, one week after Julia was killed, officers conducted numerous road checks to speak to motorists in the area.
Between 12.30pm and 6.30pm a total of 449 vehicles were stopped and occupants spoken to.
ACC Richards added: "Inquiries continue at pace, as does our very visible presence in the Aylesham and Snowdown areas.
"Whilst we will not be telling people what they can and can’t do, we are urging people to be vigilant and to be aware of their surroundings. Work is still underway to establish the motive for Julia’s killing and we’re keen people stay and feel safe."
Those with information are urged to contact Kent Police on 0800 0514 526. Anyone with video footage can submit it online here.