MILWAUKEE (AP) _ The convicted child molester whose apartment was strewn with body parts is thought to have killed at least 17 people, and he said he saved one victim's heart ''to eat later,'' authorities said Thursday.

Parts of 11 bodies, including severed heads under cold storage, were found in Jeffrey L. Dahmer's apartment Monday.

Investigators learned about six additional victims from Dahmer and from information provided by other people, Police Chief Philip Arreola said.

The Milwaukee Journal, meanwhile, reported that police in Germany want to question Dahmer about five mutilation killings near an Army base where Dahmer had served in the early 1980s.

Dahmer served for about two years at Baumholder, Germany, said Joyce Wiesner, a spokeswoman for the Army Reserve in St. Louis. He was discharged as a private first class on May 24, 1981, she said.

Dahmer, who is on probation for the 1988 sexual assault of a teen-age boy, was charged Thursday in Milwaukee County Circuit Court with four counts of first-degree intentional homicide and as a habitual criminal. Each homicide count carries a mandatory life imprisonment upon conviction. He was being held on $1 million bail.

He appeared in court, sitting quietly, and hardly spoke.

Dahmer, 31, confessed to drugging, strangling and dismembering the victims, boiling some of their skulls to preserve them and photographing the victims in various stages of dismemberment, authorities said.

Medical Examiner Jeffrey Jentzen said the remains were ''not inconsistent with cannibalism. ... We may have opinions on that at a future time.''

In a four-page criminal complaint based on statements from Dahmer, the circumstances of each of the four killings were described.

Dahmer committed homosexual acts with three of the four victims, including one who was already dead, and kept one man's heart ''to eat later,'' the complaint said.

He met two victims on Milwaukee streets, one at a Chicago gay bar and another at a Chicago gay pride function between June 30 and mid-July.

In each case, the victim was invited back to the apartment, eventually given a ''sleeping potion,'' strangled, dismembered and their body parts kept in a vat, refrigerator or freezer, the complaint said.

Police were led to the apartment Monday by a handcuffed man who escaped and flagged down officers. The man, Tracy Edwards, 32, refused to say how he became handcuffed or how he escaped.

A street minister who said he met Dahmer, a former chocolate factory worker, in a tavern in the last month said Dahmer hated homosexuals and blacks and suffered from problems with alcohol.

''The kid was nervous. He was anxious. He was, I don't know, upset all the time in the bars, like he didn't want to be there, like he was compelled to be by some inner feelings he was trying to repress and because he couldn't deal with it, he would turn around and get drunk,'' John Paul Ranieri said.

Arreola said police were investigating whether some of the killings occurred outside Milwaukee. He said they also were investigating Dahmer's stepmother's comment that the family recalled bones and body parts at his grandmother's house in the Milwaukee suburb of West Allis in 1988.

Relatives of Dahmer, who is from Medina, Ohio, said they discovered a vat filled with bones and slime three years ago.

Dahmer's father, Lionel, investigated and found ''bones and the residue in the containers, but he couldn't tell if they were human or animal bones,'' said Dahmer's stepmother, Shari told The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer.

''Jeffrey said it was an animal he found. When he was young, he liked to use acid to scrape the meat off dead animals. He told Lionel that's what he was doing.''

Four victims whose remains were found in Dahmer's apartment have been identified: Oliver Lacy, 23, of Chicago; Jeremiah Weinberger, 23, of Chicago; Matt Turner, 20, of Chicago; and Joseph Bradehoft, 25, of Greenville, Ill. The Milwaukee victim has been identified, but the name was not immediately released, the police chief said.

Jentzen said he hoped to complete identification of six more victims by Friday afternoon.

Police Chief Arreola said authorities were ''not yet ruling out the possibility that other individuals may be involved'' in the killings. He declined to specify.

Police also said they found in Dahmer's apartment the photograph of a 14- year-old boy who is the missing brother of a youth Dahmer molested. Dahmer fondled that 13-year-old youth after promising to pay him $50 to pose for photos. Dahmer was released from jail in March 1990.

The boy's brother, missing since May, is seen in the photo in his underwear, his handcuffed hands over his head, another brother said.

''We never saw the picture before,'' the brother said. ''It is my brother is all I can tell. ... We are just waiting and praying that he is not in there.''