German police evacuated the city centre of Potsdam, near Berlin, on Friday afternoon after a package was found near a Christmas market containing fireworks and "hundreds of nails" in a tin.
Police were notified about the package after it was delivered to a pharmacy on the same street as the market at around 2:30 p.m.
Police also closed several roads adjacent to the area, German media report. They later tweeted that the device had been defused.
Police said the "unconventional explosive device" contained no detonator and was incapable of exploding.
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Brandenburg state Interior Minister Karl-Heinz Schroeter told reporters the powder will be analyzed.
"The investigations are still just beginning", Schröter said, adding that the powder might be a fake created to look like a bomb.
A temporary memorial to the victims of last year's attack is set to be replaced by a permanent one on December 19, at the historic Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church on the site of the market that was attacked.
In that case, a Tunisian man hijacked a truck and drove it into a crowded market, killing 12 people in an attack that was later claimed by the Islamic State group.
Security has been stepped up at all markets across Germany ahead of that anniversary, and the looming first Advent weekend.