The local police department also noted that improvised explosive devices had been found inside a vehicle they stopped after the shooting adding that all mosques in the country have been asked to shut their doors.
In an address to the nation, aired "live" even as the situation remained active and the hunt was ongoing for the gunman, PM Ardern described the incident as "unprecedented" and "one of New Zealand's darkest days". Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters, speaking on Checkpoint, said the country had been robbed of its "innocence", while Andrew Little, the justice minister, affirmed, "There is no place for hate in New Zealand".
Meanwhile, New Zealand's police confirmed the reports about multiple fatalities at two mosques and said that one individual was in custody. "As you can imagine, this is requiring every police and emergency resource we have available". One other died at Christchurch Hospital.
"I saw the news last night, including some of the gruesome videos on social media".
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims' families, the first responders, the people of Christchurch and all New Zealanders at this most heartbreaking of times".
One man outside the mosque said that he prayed that the gunman would "run out of bullets".
"London stands with the people of Christchurch in the face of this horrific terror attack", he said.
It is clear that this can only be described as a terrorist attack.
In the manifesto Tarrant laid out 74-pages of his racist dogmas, and described himself as "Just a ordinary White man, 28 years old". "Not in New Zealand".
It is with extreme sadness that I tell you that as at 7pm tonight [Friday], we believe that 40 people have lost their lives in this act of extreme violence.
Christchurch remains in lockdown with the authorities urging anyone planning to visit a mosque in New Zealand to refrain from doing so. He said victims were a "large group of invaders" who he says "seek to occupy my peoples lands and ethnically replace my own people (sic)".
Armed police on Linwood Ave and specialist armed police after the Linwood Mosque came under attack. Of the 49 killed, at least 30 people were killed at Masjid Al-Noor Mosque.
As governments in Asia and the Middle East scrambled to find out how many of their citizens had been caught up in the Christchurch bloodshed, there was anger that the attackers targeted worshippers at Friday prayers. "FM Shah Mahmood Qureshi has condemned in the strongest terms the tragic terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand".
Another said he saw his wife lying dead outside as he escaped, with one more saying he witnessed children being shot.