This study applies infrared (IR) spectroscopy to distinguish normal brain tissue from brain metastases and to determine the primary tumor of four frequent brain metastases such as lung cancer, colorectal cancer, breast cancer, and renal cell carcinoma. Standard methods sometimes fail to identify the origin of brain metastases. As metastatic cells contain the molecular information of the primary tissue cells and IR spectroscopy probes the molecular fingerprint of cells, IR spectroscopy based methods constitute a new approach to determine the primary tumor of a brain metastasis. IR spectroscopic images were recorded by a FTIR spectrometer equipped with a macro sample chamber and coupled to a focal plane array detector. Unsupervised cluster analysis of IR images revealed variances within each sample and between samples of the same tissue type. Cluster averaged IR spectra of tissue classes with known diagnoses were selected to develop a metric with eight variables. These data trained a supervised classification model based on linear discriminant analysis that was used to identify the origin of 20 cryosections including one brain metastasis with an unknown primary tumor.