The 54-year-old man drove in his car to Marienplatz at about 3am on Friday, police report. There between the Marian column and the city hall, he proceeded to douse himself in several litres of gasoline and then set himself on fire.
Passersby found him lying on the ground, burning and tried to put out the flames, according to police. He was ultimately rushed to hospital, but died about an hour later.
Police are now investigating what motivated the man to take his life in such a way. His car had various messages written on it in marker, including one that read: “Never again a war on German soil”. Another one stated: “Amri is only the tip of the iceberg,” in reference to the Tunisian terrorist who killed 12 people in a Berlin truck attack in December.
Nevertheless, police are currently not speaking of a possible political motivation.
“Our colleagues are investigating in all directions,” said a police spokeswoman.
They said the only thing that can be certain is that they have ruled out third party involvement in the death.