In Trier, Rhineland-Palatinate, at least two people died on Tuesday in an incident involving a car in the pedestrian zone.
A small child was also among the victims: a baby was torn from life, said Prime Minister Malu Dreyer (SPD).
More than ten people were injured, the police said.
Accordingly, there was an arrest, the car was confiscated.
Eyewitnesses reported that people were thrown through the air.
In the statement, the police announced that the suspect is a 51-year-old German from the Trier-Saarburg district.
It assumes a lone perpetrator.
The authorities have no evidence of a political background.
The German press agency learned this from security circles.
The driver of the car is therefore not classified as a hazard.
The security authorities refer to people as threats if they trust the most serious politically motivated acts of violence up to and including terrorist attacks.
The driver will be questioned on Tuesday afternoon.
"The suspect is being questioned," said a police spokesman.
Nothing could be said about the man's motive.
According to the current state of investigation, sat alone in the vehicle.
He was arrested "four minutes after the initial notice", said the Rhineland-Palatinate Interior Minister Roger Lewentz (SPD) on the spot on Tuesday evening.
A police spokesman added that the driver was "stopped" and overwhelmed by the forces of the police headquarters.
According to the information, the driver has not yet commented.
According to the police, the man drove through a pedestrian zone in an SUV and apparently hit people "at random".
After the arrest, there is no longer any danger for the population.
First, the police reported on Twitter of two people killed.
The first emergency calls were received around 1:48 p.m., the police said.
At the end of the pedestrian zone, after a distance of about one kilometer, the driver was able to be stopped by the police and was arrested.
Parts of the city center of Trier were cordoned off after the incident.
Everywhere in the center - also near the famous Porta Nigra - blue lights could be seen on Tuesday.
The police called for people to avoid the affected area and warned against spreading speculation.
The officers are on site with other emergency services.
The care of the injured has absolute priority, said the police.
The Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance published an official notice of danger.
A “special situation” prevails in Trier and the affected area must be avoided.
Source: Infographic WORLD / Paul Daniel
The police have activated an information portal on the Internet.
The investigators asked eyewitnesses via Twitter to upload photos or videos of the crime.
Notes and information for relatives of possible injured persons are available on 0800 6565651.
Trail of the devastation in the main market
The mayor of Trier Wolfram Leibe (SPD) told the SWR that it was a case of amok.
The mayor spoke of a "picture of horror" that presented itself to him when he arrived at the crime scene.
Parents were asked to pick up their children from schools in the inner city area because there had been a rampage, reported the "Trierische Volksfreund".
Accordingly, the driver of an SUV left a trail of devastation on the main market.
That can be seen at the market stalls.
The police secure the crime scene
Source: dpa / Harald Tittel
The Rhineland-Palatinate Prime Minister Malu Dreyer (SPD) expressed her horror at the fatal incident.
Interior Minister Roger Lewentz (SPD) made his way from Mainz to the site of the incident.
Dreyer was also expected there that afternoon.
Steffen Seibert, spokesman for the federal government, wrote on Twitter: “What happened in Trier is shocking.
The thoughts are with the relatives of the victims, with the numerous injured and with everyone who is currently on duty to care for those affected. "
Dead in car accident in Trier
In Trier, Rhineland-Palatinate, at least two people died in an incident involving a car in the pedestrian zone.
Several people were injured, confirmed police spokesman Uwe Konz in an interview with WELT.