Van crashes into crowd in Germany killing two, injuring several

Ambulances stand in downtown Muenster Germany Saturday April

Inside the van, police found illegal firecrackers that were disguised as a fake bomb, a fake pistol and the real gun the driver used to kill himself with.

The daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung said police had found an 18-page missive in his Pirna home in which he wrote of his anguish due to serious problems with his parents, "repeated nervous breakdowns" and "explosions of aggression" as well as a botched medical operation.

But "we know with high probability that it was a lone perpetrator, it was a German, not a refugee", said North Rhine-Westphalia state interior minister Herbert Reul.

The premier of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Armin Laschet, was also present, and said that Saturday had been "a terrible, tragic day for the people of Münster". They said the main suspect was planning to killed participants and spectators with knives.

He was arrested in possession of two knives which had been sharpened, the report said. "That is our current task", Mr Bode said.

A court last month sentenced a man to life in prison for killing one and wounding six others with a knife in a Hamburg supermarket out of a "jihadist" motive last July. "And the police arrived and everyone was sent out", he said.

"It's still unbelievable for me, but these days anything can happen", said Hubert Reckermann, a local man in his late 60s on Sunday.

One of the four people have been under the observation of the authorities for long.

Witnesses said people ran away screaming from the city square after the crash.

Amri's attack in Berlin in 2016 prompted German lawmakers to call for tougher security measures.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was "deeply shocked by the awful events in Munster" and that "everything conceivable is being done to investigate the crime and to support the victims and their relatives".

Yesterday's attack in Muenster came a year to the day of a truck attack in Stockholm in which a suspected Islamist militant sympathiser killed five people.

In a statement, Merkel said "everything conceivable is being done to investigate the crime and to support the victims and their relatives".

The White House issued a statement following the incident saying US President Donald Trump's "thoughts and prayers" were with the families of those killed. "France shares in Germany's suffering".

The 48-year-old German man who drove a van into a crowd in the western city of Muenster was well-known to police and had a history of run-ins with the law, German prosecutors said Sunday, adding that they believe he acted alone.

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