What do we know about the New Zealand attacker?
The man, whose identity cannot be revealed due to court suppression orders, arrived in New Zealand in October 2011. He became a person of national security interest in 2016.
He had been under round-the-clock monitoring and heavy surveillance due to concerns about his ideology. He was known to multiple agencies, and was also on a terror watchlist.
Local media reports said the attacker was 32 years old and had recently been sentenced to one year of supervision for possessing IS propaganda.
Prosecutors had accused him of plotting a “lone wolf” terror attack using knives, but the judge ruled that planning a terror attack was not in itself an offence under existing laws, the reports said.
His internet search history and bookmarks included heroes of Isis, Islamic State dress, and New Zealand prison clothes and food, according to Stuff.
Ms Ardern said that until Friday, he had not committed any offence. When asked about the man’s motivations, she said they were “Isis-inspired”.
Questions have been raised about why action against him was not taken before six people were injured – especially since he was under close surveillance.
“The reality is, that when you are surveilling someone on a 24/7 basis, it is not possible to be immediately next to them at all times. The staff intervened as quickly as they could and they prevented further injury in what was a terrifying situation,” said Mr Coster.
He added that the attacker was very surveillance-conscious, and that teams needed to maintain a distance to be effective.
Authorities are confident the attacker was acting alone and that there is no further danger to the community, according to Mr Coster.