The 55-year-old man, who committed an arson attack and took a hostage on Cologne’s train station, is seen by the German police as a "drunk with mental problems", Handelsblatt reports.
The man, identified as Mohammad A.R. sparked panic at Cologne’s station after he set the McDonald’s alight by pouring gasoline on the floor.
Later he took a woman hostage in a nearby pharmacy and demanded the release of a Tunisian woman held in jail.
A 14-year-old girl, who fled from the McDonalds suffered heavy burns on her legs. Fortunately others were unharmed.
While eyewitnesses heard the man saying that he belonged to ISIS and wanted to join them in his native country, German police think Mohammad has psychological problems.
He has a history of street offences since he arrived as a refugee from Syria in 2015. Police recorded 13 reports about Mohammad, among other things for fraud, theft and threatening behaviour.
While prosecutors on Wednesday suggested there was a terrorist motive behind the attack, police now think otherwise.
"Based on what we know so far, there's sufficient indications to suggest a radical Islamist background to this act," federal prosecutors said yesterday.
Mohammad faces 2 counts of attempted murder and 1 charge of causing grievous bodily harm, the prosecutors said.