© Michaela Rehle / Reuters
Marienplatz in Munich, Germany
A man has died after setting himself alight in Munich's central Marienplatz. Police say the motive for the man's self immolation is unclear.

Police say the 54 year old drove his car to Marienplatz, at about 3am local time on Friday between the Marian column and city call, before dousing himself with several liters of gasoline and setting himself alight.

Pedestrians reportedly found the man lying on the ground, in flames, and tried to put out the fire. He was rushed to hospital but succumbed to his injuries about an hour later.

What drove the man to take his life in such a gruesome fashion is unclear, though his car had various messages scrawled on it in marker. "Never again a war on German soil," read one, "Amri is only the tip of the iceberg," another said.

"Amri" is seemingly a reference to the Tunisian terrorist Anis Amri who murdered 12 people when he drove a stolen truck into a crowd at a Christmas market in Berlin in December.

Police continue to investigate the incident but declined to speculate whether he had political motives.