Police were last night searching an East Perth apartment complex believed to be a former home of the man whose head was found in a plastic bag on a Rottnest Island beach this week.
The forensic search came as major crime squad detectives revealed they had identified the Caucasian man, described as being aged between 30 and 60, with a moustache, beard and missing seven upper front teeth.
Police said they had identified the man using forensic methods.
Detectives have been liaising with consultants and the State pathologist since the head was found on Porpoise Bay on Sunday in a bid to identify the man.
They would not release the man's name as they were yet to locate his family but did reveal he was a Perth resident.
_The Weekend West _understands the development led detectives to search a number of sites across the State yesterday, including an apartment on Hay Street in East Perth.
It is understood officers were focusing on one apartment in the complex but they had also set up a command point in a parking area.
It is believed officers have not yet located other remains and it is not known where the man died.
As forensic officers collected items from the complex, detectives seized security camera footage from nearby businesses, including the Carlton Hotel.
Materials gathered in the apartment may give detectives clues about his associates.
Residents in the complex knew little about the police activity but said officers had been at the property since early yesterday morning.
An 11-year-old girl who was beachcombing with her family at Porpoise Bay made the gruesome find on Sunday afternoon.
They spotted a large object and immediately contacted police after they noticed what appeared to be a human ear inside the plastic bag. Police have said they are treating the discovery as a murder investigation.
They said the man's teeth had been missing for several years before his death and his other teeth were in poor condition.
Police have also been liaising with experts on ocean currents but are not ruling out that the plastic bag may have been dumped on Rottnest. They have renewed appeals for anyone with information, particularly regarding the circumstances behind the death, to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.