NSW Police search houses in relation to Christchurch terror attack

| 18.03,19. 09:28 AM |

NSW Police search houses in relation to Christchurch terror attack

Photo: One of the searched homes, in Sandy Beach, was the residence of Brenton Tarrant's sister. (ABC News)

Counter-terror police have searched two houses on the NSW mid-north coast as part of their investigations into Friday's Christchurch mosque shootings, including the home of the sister of accused gunman Brenton Tarrant.

Officers descended on the property at Sandy Beach, near Coffs Harbour, early on Monday morning.

A short time later, they also searched a house at Maclean, about an hour north.

"The primary aim of the activity is to formally obtain material that may assist New Zealand Police in their ongoing investigation," police said in a statement.

Mr Tarrant's family continued to assist with the investigation, they added.

"The community can be assured that there is no information to suggest a current or impending threat related to these search warrants."

Fifty people were killed on Friday when Mr Tarrant allegedly opened fire at two mosques.

He was originally from Grafton and worked as a personal trainer at Big River Gym.

His former boss has described him as "very dedicated" and expressed disbelief that her former employee allegedly shot dead dozens of people at two mosques.

Mr Tarrant finished school in 2009 and left the gym two years later to go travelling in Asia and Europe.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said Mr Tarrant was not on any watch lists, while NSW Police said he was known in Australia only for minor traffic matters.

Ms Ardern has flagged changes to gun control laws in New Zealand in the wake of the shootings and her Cabinet will meet today to discuss tighter controls.

Five legally-obtained firearms were used during the attacks.

Gun control campaigners are lobbying for a ban on military-style semi-automatic weapons in New Zealand.

Mr Tarrant sent out a so-called manifesto about his alleged plans to more than 30 recipients, including Ms Ardern's office, prior to the shootings.

He was arrested within 36 minutes, Ms Ardern's office has said.

A preliminary list of the victims has been circulated to families and the process of returning bodies was expected to begin today.


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