Christchurch shooting: Guns used in attack were modified, says PM

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Tarrant reportedly made a "white power" hand gesture during his court appearance.

Instead, the accused smirked at media persons present and swayed while the charges were read out.

Handcuffed and wearing a white prison suit, Tarrant did not speak.

Brenton Harris Tarrant, 28, appeared in court Saturday charged with one count of murder.

Before the service, Khan said it would have been the same Friday prayers their Muslim brothers were gathering for in New Zealand, "when we have a crowd", when the gunmen opened fire at two Christchurch mosques, killing at least 49, and injuring many others.

Fuller says Tarrant's family is from the northern New South Wales town of Grafton and contacted police after seeing media reports of the shootings that killed at least 49. It was later notified that one of the detained was later let go.

Gun control expert Philip Alpers suggested that Ardern's quick response to the attack may indicate that New Zealand will address the availability of military-style semi-automatic rifles as promptly as Australia did after a mass shooting in 1996.

'I can tell you one thing right now, our gun laws will change, ' Ardern said.

Speaking later on Saturday in Christchurch, Ardern said it "appeared" the guns had been modified.

"It is with great sadness that we learned today that New Zealand Futsal goalkeeper Atta Elayyan has died during the painful Christchurch attacks", Federation Internationale de Football Association said on Twitter.

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"Our investigations are in their early stages and we will be looking closely to build a picture of any of the individuals involved and all of their activities prior to this horrific event", Police Commissioner Mike Bush said.

A short distance away, 39 people were being treated in hospital for gunshot wounds and other injuries inflicted in the massacre.

With the main suspect in custody, authorities are turning their focus to the victims and the families of those who lost their lives.

The Jordanian citizen of Palestinian origin is reported to have moved to New Zealand five years ago and described it as "the safest place one could ever live in".

Ardern has promised to change gun laws as soon as possible, noting it had already been tried several times before in New Zealand.

Ardern further differentiated herself from Trump's conduct following attacks on minority communities when she was asked whether she agreed with the president's assessment, shared on Friday, that white supremacy is not a growing global problem.

"I hadn't intended for anybody other than the people at Medina Mosque to know about this", Mr Graystone said.

New Zealand's prime minister Jacinda Arden has vowed to change the country's gun laws in the wake of the shooting spree that stunned the world.

The former fitness instructor and self-professed fascist occasionally turned to look at media present in court during the brief hearing that the public were excluded from for security reasons. Moreover, the person charged with murder had not been "on the radar" of the intelligence community for extremism, the prime minister explained.

At least one of the weapons used by Tarrant was reportedly an AR-15 - the same semi-automatic rifle used in a number of mass shootings in the United States, including the 2012 Sandy Hook school killings in CT.