Body parts found in the Wicklow Mountains belong to a mother in her late 50s.
There are reports this morning that she may have gone missing from South Dublin earlier this month.
The motive for her killing remains unclear but it is thought she died in the past week or so.
A man in his 30s was arrested in Wexford yesterday.
The remains include a head and hands found in a plastic bag a few kilometres from the Glenmacnass waterfall.
Limbs and parts of the torso were found in three other locations along a 20km-30km stretch of the Old Military Road to Glencree.
Gardaí said murder squad detectives were investigating whether the body parts were thrown from a moving vehicle, a car or a van, as it travelled along the route some time in the last week to 10 days.
The victim is believed to have been murdered any time between June 2 and Saturday June 10, when the first piece of torso was found by hill-walkers near Glencree Peace and Reconciliation Centre.
Two other pieces of remains were found at the waterfall and another piece at Lough Brea Lower on Military Road, south of Glencree.
Superintendent Pat Ward said he was particularly conscious that the victim was someone's loved one.
"While earlier indications were the body was that of a male the significant investigations and the complex investigations that we've undertaken up to this point now indicate that the body is that of an adult female," he said.
The first part of the torso to be found was spotted in undergrowth in a ditch off Military Road on Saturday evening.
The following day more remains were found at Glenmacnass.
Supt Ward appealed for anyone who was driving or cycling on Military Road in the last fortnight and who had a dash-cam or GoPro camera fitted to come forward.
He also urged anyone who may have driven the route or who works along the route to contact gardaí so their vehicles can be eliminated from CCTV footage.
"It's very indiscriminate," he said.
"It's something that we are not used to. Even in this area a number of bodies have been recovered in the Wicklow Mountains in the recent past and before, but never a case like this where human remains have been dispersed in such indiscriminate fashion.
"It's very troubling and worrying."
Detectives are trawling missing persons reports and have yet to rule out a gangland motive.
More than 100 gardai and Defence Forces soldiers were involved in the latest searches along with the Garda water unit and dog teams from the Civil Defence.
The scenic area around Glencree, where the first section of torso was discovered, is isolated but is popular with hill-walkers, cyclists and others using mountain forests.
The location of the finds at Glenmacnass is a beauty spot and easily accessible from Military Road and a car park.
It is understood no clothes were found with the body parts.
Gardaí are keen to talk to anyone who used Military Road, including workers for Coillte, the National Parks and Wildlife Service, or ESB Networks, and might have seen suspicious activity in recent weeks.
Detectives also appealed for members of the public who were in the general area of Military Road and the village of Laragh in the recent past and who may have seen anything suspicious or unusual to contact officers in Bray or on the Garda confidential line 1800 666111, or call any other station.