A male suspect sustained life-threatening injuries in the incident.
German magazine Focus had earlier reported that several shots appeared to have been fired at Cologne's main train station.
"We also do not rule out a terrorist attack", Brauns said.
A man who hurled a burning molotov cocktail then took a woman hostage at a major German railway station Monday may have acted with a "terrorist" motive, police said. Police believed the hostage-taker is armed.
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Syrian identity documents had been found in the pharmacy, they said.
"We're doing everything to get the hostage out of there unharmed", Gilles said.
One of Germany's largest train stations was evacuated and locked down Monday after a man took a woman hostage inside a pharmacy at the transportation hub, police said.
The suspect, who was badly wounded when police stormed the scene, had claimed to be a member of the Islamic State jihadist group, another police spokesman said.
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Police could not confirm eye-witness reports that shots and explosions were heard.
A woman held hostage by the perpetrator was only "lightly wounded", police tweeted shortly after she was freed around 3:00 pm (1300 GMT).
Deutsche Bahn, Germany's main train operator, said the station would be closed until further notice and all traffic, including long-distance connections, had been suspended.
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