Police are searching for two individuals who reportedly set off fireworks Monday in Hamilton Place mall.
Three people were injured in the panic, said Chattanooga Police Department spokesman Rob Simmons. They were treated on scene and nobody was taken to the hospital, he added.
Investigators are now working to pull video footage and identify the individuals, who are probably young adults, Simmons said.
If caught, Simmons said, the individuals could face charges of reckless endangerment or inciting to riot, a class A misdemeanor that carries up to a year in jail.
Reckless endangerment, also a class A misdemeanor, becomes a low-grade felony if the offense is committed with "a deadly weapon," according to Tennessee Code.
The panic began around 4:45 p.m. after fireworks exploded to cover up a possible shoplifting, police said Monday.
News accounts show dozens of malls nationwide experienced fights and false reports of shootings as shoppers scrambled for post-holiday deals.