Brenton Harrison Tarrant was charged with murder on Saturday in a court in Christchurch. On April 5, he was remanded to return to court. Officials said he would receive more charges.
Shortly before filming began, an 87-page social media manifesto was released under the name Brenton Tarrant. The document was full of sarcasm, apparent red herrings, and allusions to the online Mem culture, suggesting an Internet-driven development of nationalist hatred.
For the inhabitants of his former hometown, the 28-year-old Tarrant appeared to be a "relatively normal" person. He had no criminal background in New Zealand or Australia and had not drawn the attention of the intelligence services to extremist views he had worked at the Big River Squash & Fitness Center at Grafton in northern New South Wales.
Gymnastics manager Tracey Gray, who had been hired by Tarrant for several years in the late 2000s, told CNN Partner Nine News that she was shocked by his alleged role in the attacks.
He was "as normal as a person like the other," Gray said. "He has never shown extreme extremes or crazy behavior."
Gray wondered if Tarrant could have been radicalized during a trip to Europe and Asia in the early 2010s.
"I can not believe that someone I've probably been able to do with something extreme every day," Gray added.
Tarrants travel to Turkey, Pakistan and other countries
Tarrant had traveled to Turkey several times and "spent a long time in the country," said a high-ranking Turkish Official on Saturday opposite CNN.
He also recently traveled to Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary, Bulgarian Attorney General Sotir Tsatsarov told journalists, according to state news agency BTA. In 2016, Tarrant visited Montenegro and Serbia, Tsatsarov said.
Tarrant is said to have been in northern Pakistan. Speaking to CNN on Saturday, the owner of the Osho Thang Hotel in Nagar in the northernmost region of Gilgit-Baltistan in Pakistan said that Tarrant had visited his hotel in October 2018. The hotel owner, who did not want to be named for security reasons, described Tarrant as a "normal tourist".
"All I remember was that he was a fan of local food, he would leave the hotel in the morning and come back in the evening," he said.
Tarrants Family in Grafton, Australia
Tarrants father, Rodney Tarrant, died of cancer in April 2010 at the age of 49, according to an obituary The Daily Examiners in Grafton , He was described as a "dedicated family man" and "competitive athlete". According to the obituary, Tarrants father separated from his mother when he was young.
Tarran's family is "supporting and cooperating" with investigations in Grafton, nearly 400 km north of Sydney, local police told CNN.
Acting mayor of Clarence Valley in Australia, Jason Kingsley, said Tarran's alleged acts do not reflect either Grafton or Australia. Kingsley called for the association after a "very dark day" and consideration for the family and friends of the "individual".
Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel said the suspect had attacked New Zealand for its reputation as a safe haven.
. "He came with hatred in his heart and with the intention of killing in his head, he did not develop hatred here, he came here to carry out this act of terrorism."
How Tarrant got him cannons
The shooter used five guns, including two semi-automatic weapons and two shotguns – weapons that were legally acquired, Ardern said.
The Prime Minister said the shooter received a "Category A" "Firearms license", received in November 2017. According to police officers, a standard firearms license allows the owner to receive any number of sports guns and shotguns.
The authorities said at least one of the guns used in the shootings had apparently been modified.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has pledged to change New Zealand's gun laws – considered relatively loose compared to most Western countries outside the US – in response to the Wescott, Jenni Marsh, Tara Mulhollan d, Syed Israr Ahmed attacks and Sophia Saifi.