March 20 (UPI) -- The suspect accused of killing 50 people at two mosques in Christchurch last week was on his way to a third location when he was arrested, the New Zealand police commissioner said Wednesday.
Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, has been charged with murder in connection with the March 15 shooting. More charges are expected to follow.
Police Commissioner Mike Bush said during a press update that police saved lives last Friday as they apprehended the suspect while he was en route to a third location.
The suspect was speeding down a road, weaving in and out of traffic with his hazards lights on, when police rammed him on to the sidewalk and extracted him from his vehicle.
"We strongly believe we stopped him on the way to a further attack, so lives were saved by our staff courageous in their intervention," Bush said.
Bush would not name the third location to not "traumatize others."
"We absolutely believe we know where he was going and we intervened on the way," he said.
Bush also declined to say if the suspected had visited Christchurch previously.
Bush said the arrest occurred 21 minutes after police were first notified about the shooting, correcting himself from earlier when he gave a timeline of 39 minutes.
His announcement comes as Khalid Mustafa and his son Hamza Mustafa became the first two victims to be laid to rest.
On Wednesday, around 200 people attended the burial at Memorial Park Cemetery in Christchurch.
Police have received criticism for the length of time they've required to examine the bodies before returning them.
Bush tried to assure the public during the press briefing that they are doing everything they can to release the bodies to their families while gathering the information they need to present a strong case before the prosecution.
"You cannot convict for murder without that cause of death," he said. "To get it wrong is unforgivable and you cannot come back from that."
He said they have 120 professionals working on the identification process and that as of 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, 21 bodies had been released to their families.
He said returning the bodies to their families is an "absolute priority for family reasons, for compassionate reasons and for cultural reasons."
Six more bodies are to be released by mid-Wednesday with the majority to have been identified by the end of the day, he said.
"I have to say that some of those victims will take a little longer," he said.
Also on Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said there will be an official two minutes of silence Friday to mark a week since the tragedy.
The Muslim call to prayer will also be broadcast nationally, she said.
Details of when each will occur will be announced later, she said in a media briefing.