A suspect who tried to attack security forces on the Champs-Elysees shopping district in Paris Monday afternoon - when he rammed his auto into a police van - had a rifle and explosives in his vehicle, French investigators said.
On Monday, police cordoned off a broad swath of the Champs-Elysees avenue that cuts through central Paris, warning people to avoid the area.
But upon collision, the auto - and not the van - burst into flames, NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports from Paris.
Mr Favereau said he saw a auto blocking the convoy's path and then an implosion in the vehicle. Authorities say the driver is now dead.
Police say the situation is now under control, and a bomb disposal unit is on the scene 'to ensure the vehicle poses no further danger, ' Mr Brandet said.
Anti-terrorism prosecutors have opened an investigation.
Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said the man's auto was carrying weapons and explosives that could have caused a blast. But both agreed as the mother said, "unfortunately we now are used to this".
France has been under a state of emergency since the November 2015 attacks by Islamic extremists in Paris.
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The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to reveal details of the incident, the second this year on the city's most famous avenue, which is popular with tourists from around the world.
If confirmed as a deliberate attack, this would be the fifth time this year that police forces have been targeted around the French capital.
"They got out of a police truck and tried to break the glass and take the man out, they shot and threw tear gas and they took him out by force." he said.
France has been on high security alert following a series of militant attacks in recent years, including the shooting of a policeman in an Daesh-claimed attack on a police bus on the Champs Elysees in April.
"The show must go on", the daughter said in English.
A man could be seen lying on his stomach on the ground immediately after the incident, wearing a white shirt and dark shorts.
The French national gendarmerie service says the driver of a auto that rammed a law enforcement vehicle has been arrested. "Large numbers of police converged on the scene, firefighters to extinguish the fire".