Cape Breton Regional Police are investigating a report that a man armed with a handgun strapped explosives to his body and walked into the Mayflower Mall in Sydney.

Police, fire crews and paramedics responded to the mall on Grand Lake Road around 1 p.m. Wednesday after receiving a 911 call.

Police were told the man was threatening to shoot any police officer he saw inside the mall and had also threatened to detonate the explosives he was allegedly carrying.

Customers were told to evacuate the mall and employees were advised to lock their doors and stay inside their stores while heavily-armed police searched the mall.

Police say officers failed to locate the alleged suspect after an extensive search of the building.

Cape Breton Regional Police spokesperson Desiree Vassallo says no witnesses reported seeing an armed man and police are now investigating whether the call may have been a prank.

Members of the major crime unit have been called in to assist with the investigation.

The mall has since reopened to the public.