Shortly before 6 o'clock emergency services were called to New Street in Birmingham city centre following reports of an unattended bag.
As a precaution a 100m cordon was put in place around the Primark and British Home Stores shops.
The street reopened just before half past six. No train services have been affected at nearby New Street station.
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A cafe has been criticised for telling parents to take their children outside if they throw tantrums.
A 42-year-old man has appeared in court charged with murder in connection with the discovery of a badly burned headless body in a lay-by.
The attack was the latest serious knife crime in the Midlands after four stabbings – one fatal – in the space of just 24 hours last week.