"The shopping mall at Limbecker Platz in Essen's center will remain closed on Saturday amid security concerns".
A police statement said: "We received during the course of yesterday some very serious indications from security circles that an attack was planned for today and would be carried out, so we were forced to take these measures".
The nature of the threat has not been revealed by police. According to an official police Twitter account, police also boosted their numbers in the city's main train station, although trains were still running.
Police were quoted by German media as saying there had been a possible threat of a terrorist attack.
According to their words, in order to avoid possible danger to visitors, they will not be able to enter the shopping halls or the auto park.
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In the afternoon, police said they had searched an apartment in the nearby town of Oberhausen and the owner was being questioned.
Essen, in the western province of North Rhine-Westphalia, is a city of about 590,000 people.
Germany has been on edge following a series of attacks in public places over the past year.
And Germany is already on high alert following the Berlin Christmas market attack in December, which killed 12 people. The suspect, a Tunisian man, was shot dead by police days after the attack, which ISIS claimed it inspired.
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