© Reuters / Kai Pfaffenbach
Special forces searching an area after a shooting in Hanau near Frankfurt, Germany, February 20, 2020
Shootings at two hookah bars in the German city of Hanau and nearby Kesselstadt have resulted in multiple casualties. Police believe the attacks are related and have detained one suspect.

German media reported that the first incident happened at Kurt-Schumacher-Platz in central Hanau. It was followed by the shooting in Kesselstadt, which apparently involved shots fired at another hookah bar from a moving car shortly afterward.

The two incidents are being treated as related.

A third shooting, in the Lamboy district, has been reported by local TV channel Hessischer Rundfunk, but remains unconfirmed as of yet.

Hanau is a city of about 100,000 residents, located just east of Frankfurt on the Mein, in the German state of Hesse.

The suspect behind a shooting rampage that killed nine people in Germany has been found dead in his home, along with the body of his 72-year-old mother, according to Hesse Interior Minister Peter Beuth.

The alleged gunman, a 43-year-old German man, was found dead alongside his mother, both with gunshot wounds early on Thursday following a pair of shooting sprees at two hookah lounges in the city of Hanau the prior evening, which also left five people seriously injured.

"Initial results suggest a xenophobic motive," Interior Minister Peter Beuth told the German parliament following a moment of silence in commemoration of the victims.

The German federal prosecutors' office took over the investigation mid-morning on Thursday.

"Federal prosecutors have taken over the investigation and there are indications of a right-wing extremist background," a spokesperson confirmed.

Police have yet to identify the other person found dead in the suspect's home in Hanau, and also have not clarified whether the gunman took his own life. A search of his car, however, produced ammunition, magazines and a holster, after officers cleared the car for booby traps.

In addition, local media are reporting that a confession letter was found at the suspect's home, espousing far-right, anti-immigrant views as the motive behind the shooting.

According to eyewitnesses, the assailant opened fire on the first hookah bar located in central Hanau around 10pm, firing off eight or nine rounds which killed three people.

The gunman immediately fled the scene in a vehicle, traveling to another lounge in the Kesselstadt district, where he shot five others dead. Police confirmed that another person later died of their injuries sustained in one of the two shootings.

After a lengthy city-wide search, involving heavily armed officers and dozens of police vehicles, witnesses led law enforcement to the suspect's home sometime around 3am. The gunman's father was reportedly led out of the house after a police raid, with officers shouting "Where is your son?"

Reports of a third shooting in Lamboy remain unconfirmed, but local media reported that nobody was killed there, citing a prosecutor's spokesperson. According to earlier reports, one suspect was arrested near the second crime scene in Kesselstadt, but police say he had nothing to do with the shooting spree.

Videos surfaced on social media showing the heavy police presence in the city, where dozens of officers armed with rifles are now patrolling the streets.