A German man drove a van into a group of people sitting outside a restaurant in the old city centre of Münster in Germany on Saturday, killing two of them before shooting himself dead.
The vehicle plowed into people seated at tables outside the Grosser Kiepenkerl eatery, a popular destination for tourists in the university city.
Six of those injured were seriously hurt, police said. The incident happened at 3.27pm local time.
Herbert Reul, interior minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, home to Muenster, told German television the suspect was a German citizen and there was “no indication of an Islamist background.”
Police spokesman Andreas Bode earlier said: “At 15:27, a vehicle drove into the outside area of the restaurant ... three people were killed, 20 injured, and six of those seriously injured.”
“The perpetrator killed himself in the vehicle,” Bode added.
Reul said the three dead included the perpetrator.
The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported in its online edition that the perpetrator was Jens R., aged 48, who lived some 2 km (1.2 miles) from the crime scene.
Broadcaster ZDF said police were searching his apartment and that he had contact with far-right extremists, but there was no evidence thus far that he was a far-right extremist himself.
The Sueddeutsche Zeitung said the man had psychological problems. The Interior Ministry in North Rhine-Westphalia would neither confirm nor deny the report.
Bode said investigators were looking at the possibility that other suspects fled the scene, though they had no evidence that this was the case, he added.
Pictures of the scene on social media showed tables and chairs strewn across the scene.
The incident evoked memories of a December 2016 truck attack in Berlin that killed 12 people.
Anis Amri, a failed Tunisian asylum seeker with Islamist links, hijacked a truck on December 19, 2016, killed the driver and then ploughed it into a crowded marketplace, killing 11 more people and injuring dozens of others.
“I am shocked by the news from Münster,” said Andrea Nahles, parliamentary leader of the Social Democrats, junior partner in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling coalition.
“My thoughts are with the victims and their relatives,” she added. “I hope that our authorities can quickly clarify the background to this incident and wish the local forces much strength for their work.”
Government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer tweeted: “Awful news from Münster. Our thoughts are with the victims and their relatives.”