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Lone Munich shooter had 'no link' to IS or refugees: German police

18-year-old German-Iranian who killed nine people - seven of them fellow teenagers - before killing self was receiving psychiatric care
Police stand guard following the deadly shopping mall rampage on Friday night (AFP)

A gunman who went on a shooting rampage at a busy mall in Munich likely acted alone and had "no link" to either the Islamic State (IS) group or refugees, German police said on Saturday.

The killings were "a classic act by a deranged person," Bavaria police chief Hubertus Andrae told a press conference on Saturday, saying that the shooter had been receiving psychiatric care.

"There is absolutely no link to Islamic State."

The shooter killed nine people - seven of them fellow teenagers - before turning the gun on himself.

Three of those killed in the attack were of Turkish origin.

The third attack on civilians in Europe in barely a week sent panicked shoppers fleeing the Olympia mall as elite police launched a massive operation to track down what had initially been thought to be up to three assailants.

Rather than being connected to IS, Andrae said there was an "obvious" link to an attack by a right-wing extremist that killed over 70 people, most of them teenagers.

The Munich attack was on the fifth anniversary of the day when Anders Breivik gunned down 69 people at a Labour Youth meeting after detonating a bomb that killed eight people at a government building in Oslo.

"The perpetrator was an 18-year-old German-Iranian from Munich," Andrae told reporters immediately after the rampage on Friday.

The shooter had dual citizenship, having been born and brought up in Bavaria, and "no criminal record".

The shooter - who has been named in German media outlets as David S - did not have a licence for the gun used in the attack.

He brought 300 bullets with him to launch the shooting spree, the Bavaria police chief said on Saturday.

Nine people were slain in the shooting that began early Friday evening, with 16 wounded according to the latest official toll.

Seven of those killed were teenagers, like the attacker, while children were among those wounded.

The suspected attacker's body was found about one kilometre from the mall where the shootings took place, German DPA news agency reported.

"We found a man who killed himself. We assume that he was the only shooter," police said on Twitter.

A video posted on social media appeared to show a man dressed in black walking away from a McDonald's restaurant while firing repeatedly on people as they fled screaming.

Munich police said at the time that there were further reports of gunfire in the city, and advised residents to avoid public areas. The main rail station was evacuated.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will convene her security council on Saturday to address the Munich shootings, her chief of staff Peter Altmaier said.

Altmaier told ZDF public television on Friday that Merkel was being "constantly briefed" on developments. "The cabinet ministers concerned are on their way to Berlin," he added.

German President Joachim Gauck said he was "horrified" by the "murderous attack".

"I am with all the victims in my thoughts and all those who are mourning or fearful for loved ones," he said in a statement, adding that his "solidarity" was with emergency services personnel trying to "protect people and save lives".

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere, who was on a flight to New York when the shooting rampage began, will immediately return to Germany, a ministry spokesman said.

US President Barack Obama pledged support to Germany in the wake of the deadly shooting rampage, as officials said they were working to determine if any US citizens were affected.

Obama, speaking at a meeting with law enforcement officials, said he had been briefed on the unfolding drama in Germany.

"Our hearts go out to those who may have been injured. It's still an active situation, and Germany's one of our closest allies, so we are going to pledge all the support that they may need in dealing with these circumstances," he said.

At the State Department, spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau said US officials were working with local authorities to determine if any US citizens were affected by the incident.

The Munich attack comes just days after a teenage asylum seeker attacked passengers with an axe and a knife on a regional train in Germany, injuring five people. He was shot dead by police.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said the teenager was believed to be a "lone wolf" attacker who appeared to have been "inspired" by the Islamic State group but was not a member of the network.

Images were also posted on Twitter of the Munich attacker, apparently armed with a handgun. The images have not been verified but appear to match the video of a man firing on passersby outside the OEZ McDonald's restaurant.