BERLIN — German police have made contact with a man who took a woman hostage Monday inside Cologne's main train station and are trying to win her release.

Police said the incident started Monday at 12:45 p.m. (1045 GMT). The entire station, one of the biggest in the country, was evacuated and closed off as well as Breslauer Platz square behind the station.

"We are in contact with the man," police spokesman Christoph Gilles told broadcaster n-tv.

"We need to find out what he wants, what his demands are and whether he carries a weapon," he said, adding that police weren't aware of the man's motive.

Gilles said specially-trained officers were talking to the hostage taker, who hadn't been identified.

"We're doing everything to get the hostage out of there unharmed," Gilles said.

German railroad operator Deutsche Bahn said that all train traffic was shut down.

Ambulances and heavily-armed police were lined up in wait behind the train station.