By Matt Kroschel

ASPEN, Colo. (CBS4) – It’s the mystery of the year: who was the person responsible for slashing a multi-million dollar painting in Aspen while wearing a disguise.

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(credit: Aspen Times)

Aspen police confirm they have a prime suspect and say this has turned into an international investigation.

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(credit: Aspen Times)

Video from inside the Opera art gallery captured the attacker in May 2017.

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(credit: Aspen Times)

“This is an international case, and we wouldn’t look at an international extradition of a suspect for example without having more of an airtight case,” Bill Linn, Aspen Police Assistant Chief told CBS4 Monday.

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CBS4’s Matt Kroschel interview Aspen Police Assistant Chief, Bill Linn. (credit: CBS)

After months of combing over records, warrants being served, and good, old fashioned police work lead to the unnamed suspect police are focused on right now.

“The problem with this case is that it’s complex. It’s not the sort of thing that we deal with on an average day,” Linn said.

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(credit: CBS)

The original work is valued at nearly $3 million. No insurance claims were ever filed, but police still believe there was a financial motive behind the bizarre knife attack.

They have turned to online clues to help solve the case.

“We’re walking the beat, walking door to door, knocking on doors. We are doing the same sort of thing, but now it’s like knocking on the door of Google, Facebook, Apple and asking them the questions we used to ask neighbors. It just takes longer,” Linn added.

As work continues, Aspen police are confident this won’t turn into a cold case.

“I think we will successfully bring this case to a close.”

The attorney for the owner of the painting tells us repairs have been made to the artwork, and the damage was not as severe as originally believed.

It’s not clear if that original artwork is back on the open market.

Matt Kroschel covers news throughout Colorado working from the CBS4 Mountain Newsroom. Send story ideas to mrkroschel@cbs.com and connect with him on Twitter @Matt_Kroschel.

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