There was a 20-liter tank of kerosene in the rental auto, which he said he planned to use to burn the vehicle, the investigative sources said.
But police said they were still investigating whether the man was actually connected to the doomsday cult.
Police arrested Kazuhiro Kusakabe, 21, who was driving a rental vehicle with Osaka license plates, on suspicion of attempted murder. He had been driving a rental vehicle with an Osaka license plate, Kyodo reported.
"It was not immediately clear whether he was referring to a specific execution or Japan's system of capital punishment", the news agency reported.
Seven dead, dozens trapped under rubble after Russian gas blast: agencies
The blast tore through the building at around 6 a.m. (0100 GMT) when many residents were asleep, RIA news agency reported. Emergency workers have evacuated residents of nearby sections of the building, fearing they could also tumble down.
Kusakabe had tried to flee the scene but was captured about 20 minutes after the incident, RT reported.
The vehicle barreled down the narrow street, which was packed with pedestrians, at around 12.10 a.m., on New Year's day, police said.
Investigative sources quoted the man as allegedly saying he had perpetrated an act of terrorism "in retaliation for an execution" and "would not make any excuses" for his actions. Most of those executed, or 13, were cultists of the Aum Shinrikyo group that was responsible for the 1995 sarin gas attack on the Tokyo Metro during morning rush hour, which killed 13 and sickened thousands of others.
The crash occurred early Tuesday on Takeshita Dori, a road well known to tourists and pop culture and fashion fans that runs right by Meiji Shrine in Harajuku, Shibuya ward.
6 injured after jet bridge reportedly collapses at Baltimore airport
Treated were four medics, two Southwest Airlines employees and the sick passenger, FAA said in an email to WTOP . The jet bridge failure at BWI Airport is "under investigation", according to another tweet from the airport.
Meanwhile in Germany, police have detained a 50-year-old man on suspicion of ramming his vehicle into a crowd of people after midnight on New Year's Eve at a crowded plaza in the north-western town of Bottrop.
Every New Year's Eve, the train line that includes Harajuku station runs all night. "This is a place I'm familiar with, so it's very shocking", Tatsuhiro Yaegashi, a 27-year-old worker in the area, said according to Reuters.
He is suspected of intentionally trying to kill people by driving the vehicle into them in the street.
Greece beats the United States on Serena Williams's return
Federer said he had plenty of experience playing against women, going back to his days as a teenage tour hopeful in Switzerland. It was the signal for Tiafoe to dig in, the world No.39 levelling at 3-3 in the second after breaking back in the sixth game.