The man suffered second-degree burns, which is consistent with a small fireworks device, police sources said.
One of the passengers is being treated at the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor, according to hospital spokeswoman Tracy Justice, who was not sure if it was the suspect or one of the other passengers.
Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Sandra R. Berchtold from the Detroit office confirmed that the FBI was at the airport, but she would not comment further.
"All passengers have deplaned and out of an abundance of caution, the plane was moved to a remote area where the plane and all baggage are currently being rescreened," the Transportation Security Administration, which handles aircraft and airplane safety, said in a statement. "A passenger is in custody and passengers are being interviewed."
The aircraft was an Airbus A330-300, twin-engine jet carrying 278 passengers.
President Obama was notified of the incident by his military aide between 2 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Detroit time or 9 a.m. in Hawaii, where the Obamas are vacationing, according to White House spokesman Bill Burton.
The president subsequently convened a secure conference call with John Brennan, his Homeland Security and Counter-terrorism adviser, and Denis McDonough, acting chief of staff for the National Security Council.
Obama then instructed that "all appropriate measures be taken to increase security for air travel."
"The President is actively monitoring the situation and receiving regular updates. There is currently no change to his schedule," Burton said in a statement.
TSA has a layered approach to security that the agency says allows it to surge resources as needed on a daily basis.
It would not give specifics except that it has the ability to quickly implement additional screening measures including explosive detection canine teams, gate screening, behavior detection and other measures "both seen and unseen." The TSA said these measures are designed to be unpredictable, so passenger should not expect to see the same thing at every airport.
The Department of Homeland Security said Secretary Janet Napolitano has been briefed on the incident and is closely monitoring the situation.
The agency, which includes the TSA, said passengers may notice additional screening measures put into place to ensure the safety of the traveling public on domestic and international flights.
"As always we encourage the traveling public to be observant and aware of their surroundings and report any suspicious behavior or activity to law enforcement officials," the agency said in a statement.