Egytian-born Sydney resident Ahmed Ghoniem, 27, was stabbed up to 20 times before his apartment was set alight on Saturday afternoon, police said today.
Police described Ghoniem as 'active in Sydney's gay and lesbian scene' and said it was possible that he was a victim of a gay hate crime, although they are keeping an open mind about motives.
Ghoniem was pulled from the wreckage of his fourth-floor apartment in Potts Point in eastern Sydney, but died in hospital on Saturday.
Detective Inspector Angelo Memmolo appealed to Sydney's gay and lesbian community to help the police with their murder investigation by telling them about Ghoniem's movements before Saturday.
'We're certainly following those lines of inquiry, looking at his background and appealing for people who may know him to come forward,' Det Insp Memmolo said, The Australian reports.
Memmolo also said an arson attack in the middle of the day like this was usual, suggesting it was a spur-of-the-moment crime.