Two men arrested on suspicion of terrorism offences had a replica police uniform in their car, police have said.
The men, aged 57 and 22, were held in Manchester city centre on Wednesday and their car was searched.
Greater Manchester Police said it was now satisfied the incident in Deansgate "was not terrorism-related" and the men have been released without charge.
A police baton was also discovered during a search of the Range Rover, the force added.
A utility belt and further items were found that required assessment by bomb disposal officers, but police said they "represented no danger to the public".
A police spokesman said the men were "initially uncooperative at the scene and failed to provide a reasonable explanation for their behaviour".
Police later searched a property on Stream Terrace in Offerton as part of the investigation.
Assistant Chief Constable Nick Bailey said: "Currently, police are treating this as irresponsible behaviour that has quite rightly been reported as suspicious by members of the public.
"Inquiries as to whether any non-terror-related criminal offences were committed remain ongoing."