A car found alight had been used by armed robbers who attacked two police officers.
Firefighters were called to put out a blaze involving a Volkswagen Touareg on Troutbeck Drive, near the junction with Thirlmere Avenue in Astley, at 4.20am on Friday.
Now police have revealed the car had been used during an incident at a petrol station at Ellesmere Shopping Centre in Walkden.
Officers were called to the petrol station at around 4.05am to reports of a robbery. When they arrived, their van was rammed repeatedly by the Vauxhall Touareg as four offenders attempted to flee.
One of the men got out of the car and smashed the police van with a pick axe, before rejoining his accomplices.
The four men left in the car and it was later found on fire on Troutbeck Drive.
Both police officers sustained minor injuries during the attack. Police enquiries established the robbers had smashed their way into the petrol station by ramming their car against the door. They went inside and stole cash and cigarettes. Anyone with information can call police on 101, quoting incident 250 of June 30, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.