Relatives of one of those killed went to the Christchurch court where Australian Brenton Harrison Tarrant appeared this morning in the hopes of getting "a look at his face".
The suspects' ideology and preparation for the attack - Prime Minister Ardern described them as having "extremist views", but New Zealand's police commissioner said the man charged with murder was not known to intelligence services.
Ardern said that investigators are working to determine whether two others who were taken into custody in relation to the massacre were directly involved.
"He was professional, he was punctual, reliable.as normal as one person to the next", she said.
Four people - three men and one woman - have been detained in connection to the incident.
Since then, Christchurch's 400,000 residents have feared the elements more than people; an quake in 2011 killed 185 and toppled many downtown buildings in what has been lovingly dubbed the "Garden City".
A police spokesperson in the Australian state of New South Wales said Tarrant's family have been "assisting and cooperating" with authorities.
While at a press conference Friday at the Islamic Foundation to condemn the deadly attack on two mosques, Faizan Shaik got a call from his mother letting him know his uncle, Ahmed Jahangir, was one of the shooting victims.
Sahra Ahmed, a New Zealander of Somali origin, said she was touched by the PM's gesture.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said hatred and violence have no place in diverse and democratic societies, and expressed India's solidarity with the people of New Zealand at this hard time.
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"If that hadn't happened, many more would have died and I wouldn't be here now", he said.
Ardern said the suspect traveled around the world and was in New Zealand sporadically.
Yama Nabi said his father Haji Daoud, who came to New Zealand from Afghanistan in 1977, was killed at the Al Noor mosque. She said the main perpetrator used five weapons during his rampage, including two semi-automatic weapons and two shotguns, which he was legally licensed to own.
"We came here as we're wondering who's a casualty and who's dead", Mohammed Ashif, who narrowly escaped the Linwood mosque during the attack, tells TIME. The attacks killed 49 people and injured 42 others, of those injured, several remain in critical condition.
A complex and comprehensive investigation into the attack was underway, Ardern pointed out. The invaders, he said, would never be able to "replace" "our people". In New Zealand, commentators also anxious that the horror would sow deep divisions in a society that has largely avoided the polarizations that have spread elsewhere. None of those arrested had a criminal history or were on watchlists in New Zealand or Australia.
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.
In New Zealand, police officers don't routinely carry firearms.
When the gunman entered the Al Noor mosque, there were around 400 people inside.
The Bulgarian government has also said it was looking into Tarrant, who apparently visited the country late past year, as well as having earlier travelled to other parts of the Balkans - including Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina.