After the police said that one person had been detained following the attacks, the New Zealand Herald reported that one shooting was perpetrated by an Australian citizen, who had published a 37-page manifesto detailing his intentions.
- Two improvised explosive devices were found on a vehicle after the shootings.
The gunman said he was not a member of any organization, acted alone and chose New Zealand to show that even the most remote parts of the world are not free of "mass immigration".
One of the witnesses at Al Noor mosque described the terrorist to New Zealand media as white, blonde and donning a helmet and bulletproof vest. Two others remain in custody.
The shooting started at about 1:30 p.m. Friday at the mosques, where hundreds had gathered for prayers.
Meanwhile, New Zealand's health authority reported that at least 48 people are now in hospital in Christchurch being treated for gunshot wounds.
A Palestinian man who was in one of the mosques said he saw someone being shot in the head. The joint intelligence group has been deployed and police are putting all of their resources into this situation.
Players from the Hamilton Chiefs and the Hurricanes, two of New Zealand's professional rugby teams, came together in tribute ahead of their Super Rugby match in Hamilton on Friday evening.
He also gave details about his upbringing in the manifesto, writing, "I am just a regular white man, from a regular family, who made a decision to take a stand to ensure a future for my people".
Bush said that a male in his late 20s has been charged with murder and will appear at the Christchurch court Saturday morning local time. Nichols said he saw two wounded people being carried out on stretchers past his automotive shop.
The Daily Mail has a 17 minute video of the terrorist
- Police have warned there may be more suspects.
His manifesto was a welter of often politically contradictory views, touching on numerous most combustible issues of the day, among them the Second Amendment right to own guns, Muslim immigration, terrorist attacks and the wealthiest 1 percent.
New Zealand's deadliest mass shooting occurred in 1990 when a loner killed 13, including women and children, within 24 hours in Aramoana, a small village.
National carrier Air New Zealand canceled at least 17 flights in and out of Christchurch, saying it couldn't properly screen customers and their baggage following the shootings.
He said he was in New Zealand temporarily while he "planned and trained" the attack. He said he then went into the mosque to try to help the victims. "We call the world to reassess their stand in order to establish interfaith tolerance".
"You may have chosen us but we utterly reject and condemn you", she said.
Police commissioner Mike Bush confirmed later that 49 people were killed and 48 others injured in the shooting.
The Archbishop of Canterbury posted on Twitter: "Profound sympathy for the victims and relatives of the New Zealand terrorism".
In addition, police are aware of a video shared online, and broadcast live during the attack, that purports to show a gunman walking into an unnamed mosque and opening fire.
Based on the video, the attacker was at the scene of the first mosque for about 10 minutes, and police did not arrive until after that.
Italy's far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini voiced his "absolute condemnation" of the New Zealand killings, in a statement.