The man who was shot dead attempting to attack a Paris police station on the anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo attacks lived in a shelter for asylum seekers in Germany. German police said the man lived in one in the western town of Recklinghausen, where he had drawn an Islamic State (Isis) symbol on a wall, Welt am Sonntag reported.
Police found no evidence of further planned attacks in a search of the building. A source close to the investigation told AFP the man was registered as an asylum seeker.
It is not known if the man had links to Isis' leadership in Iraq and Syria or if he was acting independently as a 'lone wolf' attacker.
The man was shot dead while carrying a meat cleaver and a fake suicide vest outside the police station in northern Paris on 7 January, a year after the attacks on satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo, in which 12 people were killed.
On a piece of paper found on his body was a pledge of allegiance to IS (Daesh) and a claim the attacks were revenge for the French bombing campaign in Syria. The man's background is unknown and he had claimed to be Moroccan, Tunisian, Syrian and Georgian in previous registrations with German and French authorities. He reportedly filed for asylum under the name Walid Salihi.
In Tunisia, a woman claiming to be the man's mother said he had been living in Germany but he did not have any connections to extremist groups. She told a Tunisian radio station that her son had rang her to ask her "to send him his birth certificate. He was in Germany".
It is not the first time an extremist posing as a refugee has launched a terror attack in the French capital. Two members of the IS cell that killed 130 people in the 13 November terror attacks were found to have entered Europe through Greece posing as refugees.