Belgian Interior Minister Jan Jambon told public radio earlier on Wednesday investigators knew the identity of the man, who was shot dead by soldiers guarding the station, but would not reveal it until a news conference.
The bag, which contained nails and gas bottles, exploded a second time more violently, he added.
Belgian authorities have carried out a host raids in the area over the past year. After retiring a bit, he returned in the middle of this group.
No one was killed or injured by the blast, described by authorities on Wednesday as a partial explosion detonated by the suspect near a group of underground passengers at 8:44 pm (1844 GMT). The man then shouted "Allahu akbar", Arabic for "God is great", before a soldier shot him dead, the magistrate said. "People just took off".
Prosecutors said the suspect was carrying a backpack before he was shot by one of the routine military patrols active in Brussels since the attacks more than a year ago.
The attacker "likely made the bomb" he had with him at the train station at home, police said, according to the AP.
The blast came a day after a man mowed down Muslims near a mosque in London, and a suspected Islamist on a terror watchlist rammed a auto laden with weapons into a police vehicle in Paris.
"The person who carried out this act has been identified as being O.Z. -we never give the full identity-born on the 12th of January 1981, of Moroccan nationality", said Belgian federal prosecutor Eric Van Der Sypt.
Van der Sypt said the man's home in the Molenbeek district of Brussels had been searched after the attack.
Following the meeting, he tweeted: "We will not let ourselves be intimidated by terrorism". "We will go on living our lives as normal". We have avoided an attack that could have been a great deal worse.
An AFP journalist reported that a controlled explosion was heard several hours after the attack.
Belgium's Crisis Centre, which monitors security threats in the country, said it did not see a need to raise the country's terror threat and kept it at the second-highest mark. The information could not be immediately confirmed.
Militants based in Brussels were linked to deadly attacks in and around Paris in November 2015, and bombings of an airport and subway station in Brussels in March past year. Associates of that group attacked Brussels itself four months later, killing 32 people.
The mayor of Moleenbeck, Françoise Schepmans, told reporters that the suspect, who was divorced and unemployed, featured in police files in relation to a drugs case previous year but that he had not previously been linked to any terrorist activity.
He had been linked to a drugs offence, but not for radicalism. He had not shown up on the radar but the police and the community continue their work.
Central station re-opened on Wednesday morning. Visitors and residents out enjoying a hot summer's evening on the ornate Renaissance town square, the Grand Place, close to Central Station were cleared quickly away by police.