Germany's federal prosecutor is taking over the investigation into the stabbing of a Cologne mayoral candidate by a man who said he acted out of anti-foreigner motives.

Henriette Reker, 58, was stabbed in the neck and seriously wounded Saturday by a 44-year-old German man. Reker, who won the election, remains in a coma.

The prosecutor's office said in a statement Monday that it is now investigating the attack against Reker and four other people who were injured.

Reker, who has been in charge of housing refugees in Cologne, ran as an independent but was backed by Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats and two other parties.

The statement said that attacker chose Reker specifically because he wanted to take a stand against the growing number of refugees in Germany.