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The judge ruled images of the suspect in court must blur his face. Photo: Mark Mitchell-Pool/Getty Images

An Australian man accused of killing 49 people in 2 New Zealand mosques smiled and gave a "white power" sign during his court appearance Saturday morning local time, witnesses say.

The details: Brenton Harrison Tarrant, 28, did not enter a plea when he appeared in Christchurch District Court, charged with the murder of one person who was killed in Friday's attacks in the most populous city on New Zealand's South Island. Only the media was allowed to watch proceedings and the judge ordered the suspect's face to be blurred. Reporters attending the proceedings said they saw Tarrant smile and make an upside-down "OK" gesture, which is a symbol used by white power groups.

The big picture: Police will allege the suspect was equipped to continue when police stopped him, according to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Police still have 2 other people in custody they arrested in connection with the attacks, but they have released a 4th person.

What she's saying: "The offender was mobile," Ardern said at a press conference. "There were two other firearms in the vehicle that the offender was in, and it absolutely was his intention to continue with his attack."

What's next? Police said more charges were likely to be laid. Tarrant is due to appear again on April 5.

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
1 hour ago - Technology

CES was largely irrelevant this year

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Forced online by the pandemic and overshadowed by the attack on the Capitol, the 2021 edition of CES was mostly an afterthought as media's attention focused elsewhere.

Why it matters: The consumer electronics trade show is the cornerstone event for the Consumer Technology Association and Las Vegas has been the traditional early-January gathering place for the tech industry.

The FBI is tracing a digital trail to Capitol rioters

Illustration: Sarah Grillo

Capitol rioters, eager to share proof of their efforts with other extremists online, have so far left a digital footprint of at least 140,000 images that is making it easier for federal law enforcement officials to capture and arrest them.

The big picture: Law enforcement's use of digital tracing isn't new, and has long been at the center of fierce battles over privacy and civil liberties. The Capitol siege is opening a fresh front in that debate.

Off the Rails

Episode 6: Last stand in Georgia

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Drew Angerer, Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 6: Georgia had not backed a Democratic presidential candidate since 1992 and Donald Trump's defeat in this Deep South stronghold, and his reaction to that loss, would help cost Republicans the U.S. Senate as well. Georgia was Trump's last stand.

On Air Force One, President Trump was in a mood. He had been clear he did not want to return to Georgia, and yet somehow he'd been conscripted into another rally on the night of Jan. 4.