A 73-year-old man died and two others were injured after a man drove a car into pedestrians in a square in the centre of Heidelberg.
The attacker, who was armed with a knife, fled before being surrounded by police near a swimming pool in the south-western German town.
On Saturday night, Mannheim police said the man suspected of carrying out the attack was a 35-year-old German, and that they did not suspect any terrorist motive.
Witnesses told the Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung newspaper that the black Opel car had been waiting at a red light near Bismarckplatz, a busy area in the centre of Heidelberg.
After the lights turned green, the car was driven directly at a crowd in a pedestrianised zone near a busy tram and bus stop, outside a Grimminger bakery. The car hit three people then struck a pillar, but was not going fast enough to trip the airbag.
The driver got out and ran away from the tram station carrying a knife, but was spotted by bystanders who alerted the police. Officers trapped the man near the entrance to a swimming pool and ordered him to drop the knife, but, according to local media, he refused and was shot.
Mannheim police said in a statement last night: “Shortly before 4pm, a suspect drove into a group of people in Bismarckplatz in Heidelberg in front of a local bakery branch.
“This injured three people, one of them seriously. Afterwards, the suspect climbed out of the vehicle and moved away on foot, armed with a knife, towards Bergheimer Straße.
Later, police said: “The person who was initially seriously injured died at 6pm in a Heidelberg clinic. He was a 73-year-old German national.”
The police said the two other injured people were a 32-year-old Austrian man and a 29-year-old woman from Bosnia-Herzegovina. They received treatment at the scene and were discharged.
“The suspect is a 35-year-old German,” the police said, who was receiving treatment for his gunshot wounds.
“According to the current investigation, there are no indications of a terrorist background.”
After persistent speculation that the German suspect was a naturalised immigrant, Mannheim police tweeted: “And now for everyone – a German WITHOUT a migration background”
Officers wearing forensic bodysuits examined the car, discoveringa bag and a suitcase.
Germany has been on high alert since a truck ploughed into a crowded Christmas market in Berlin in December, killing 12 people. A Tunisian suspect was shot dead days later by police in Italy.