Chicago Muslim groups step up security after New Zealand mosque attacks

Flowers and a New Zealand national flag are seen at a memorial as tributes to victims of the mosque attacks near Linwood mosque in Christchurch

"The offender was mobile, there were two other firearms in the vehicle that the offender was in, and it absolutely was his intention to continue with his attack", Ardern told reporters in Christchurch.

Brenton Tarrant, charged for murder in relation to the mosque attacks, is lead into the dock for his appearance in the Christchurch District Court, New Zealand March 16, 2019.

Brenton Tarrant appeared in court on Saturday charged with murder over the attack.

"If that hadn't happened, many more would have died and I wouldn't be here now", he said.

The victim can not be named by order of the court. The gunman donned a helmet video camera and broadcast live footage of his rampage on Facebook akin to the carnage of shoot-em-up video games.

"We appear to primarily dealing with one primary perpetrator, but we want to make sure that we don't take anything for granted in ensuring New Zealanders' safety", Ardern said.

Numerous victims hailed from around the world. The nationalities of the victims included Indian, Pakistani, Malaysian, Indonesian, Egyptian, Bangladeshi, Saudi, Somalian and Turkish, authorities said.

At least 49 people were killed in Friday's attack.

Shaik said the last he heard, his uncle was in surgery and his condition was critical.

"There was a lady screaming "help, help" and he shot her point blank in the face", he said. Five other Pakistani citizens were still unaccounted for, he said.

She called the mass shooting "an extraordinary act of violence", and vowed "our gun laws will change".

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"It's the time for change", said Ardern. Prime Minister Jacinda Arden called the shootings a terrorist act, tweeting that such acts have no place in the country. As is the entire nation, we are all unified in grieving together ...

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said one of the men in custody was Australian.

US President Donald Trump, who condemned the attack as a "horrible massacre", was praised by the accused gunman in a manifesto posted online as "a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose".

He also reached out to the Muslim community in Christchurch and in New Zealand.

"He loves his family", said Shaik.

Describing himself as an "ethnonationalist and fascist", he said he only arrived in New Zealand three months ago whilst he "planned and trained", though was persuaded that it "was as target rich of an environment as anywhere in the world".

Many of you will have seen that Air New Zealand has cancelled all turboprop flights out of Christchurch tonight and will review the situation in the morning.

The news felt particularly jarring for a community still in shock from the 2017 shooting at a Quebec mosque that killed six people, she said, adding Canada's close political and societal kinship with New Zealand made the latest shooting feel "weirdly close to home".

Two other people have been arrested in connection with the terror attack, and they remain in custody as police conduct an ongoing investigation as to their possible involvement. None of them had been on any security watch lists prior to the attack, officials said.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush confirmed Tarrant was involved in both shootings but stopped short of saying he was the sole gunman.

A former armed offenders squad member some of the semi-automatic weapons Tarrant allegedly used were very similar to what police and the military use.

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