BERLIN – The suspicious package found on Friday near a Christmas market in Potsdam and blown up by police in a controlled detonation was apparently not rigged to explode, German authorities said.
The parcel was delivered by courier to a nearby pharmacy, where the owner contacted authorities after discovering the contents, police spokesman Torsten Herbst said.
While the package contained nails, wires, a firecracker and a cylinder of a still-unidentified powder, authorities did not find a detonator, the interior minister of Brandenburg state, Karl-Heinz Schröter, told the media.
Both Schröter and Herbst said it was premature to talk about an attempted attack on the market, urging the public not to jump to conclusions about the incident in Potsdam, a city just outside Berlin that is the capital of Brandenburg state.
Via Twitter, police appealed to the press to avoid speculation and emphasized that the investigation was still in progress.
Their immediate priorities were determining if any other similar parcels were in circulation and tracking down the courier who made the delivery to the pharmacy in Potsdam, police said.
Police arrived on the scene around 4 pm and evacuated everybody within a radius of 100 meters (yards) of the pharmacy before the bomb squad carried out a controlled detonation of the package.
Christmas markets across Germany opened this week with increased security a year after a failed asylum seeker from Tunisia drove a stolen truck into shoppers at a market in Berlin, killing 12 people.