In his response to the attack, President Obama said the fact it took place in a black church evoked a "dark part of our history". Here are some previous incidents:
- dynamite damages a Baptist church in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1958
- four black girls are killed after the bombing of a church in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963
- about three dozen black churches are burned or bombed in Mississippi in 1964
- President Clinton orders an investigation in 1996 after a spate of church fires, particularly at black churches
- fire burns a church in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 2008, hours after Barack Obama elected president
Hillary Clinton, who is running for president, said the tragedy means the country has to face "hard truths" about guns and race.
"How many innocent people in our country, from little children to church members to movie theatre attendees, how many people do we need to see cut down before we act?" the former first lady said in Las Vegas.
- Copyright: Reuters
Dylann Roof had been "planning something like that for six months," a friend of his, Dalton Tyler, told ABC News.
"He was big into segregation and other stuff," he said. "He said he wanted to start a civil war. He said he was going to do something like that and then kill himself."
Pastor Stephen Singleton, a former minister at the church where the shooting took place, says changes in the US laws on firearms are overdue.
"That's an issue that's been on the table for a long time. Every time it comes up, it generates a lot of discussion. But in the end there's nothing that's done about it. And I think that's because people in key places want it to remain the way it is. We should have already done it."
The ages of victims ranged from 26 to 87. Read their profilesCopyright: BBC
Following the attack, Charleston Mayor Joe Riley announced he was setting up the Mother Emanuel Hope Fund.
It will be used to aid the victims' families and the church. The website is not yet functioning but donations can be made directly to the church.
Vice President Joe Biden has released a statement saying "as a nation we must confront the ravages of gun violence and the stain of hatred that continues to be visited on our streets, in our schools, in our houses of worship, and in our communities".
WISTV is reporting that Dylann Roof waived extradition during a court appearance in Cleveland County, North Carolina.
He is now being transported to Charleston, South Carolina, a journey of about 245 miles (395 km), or four hours by car.
- Copyright: EPACopyright: ReutersCopyright: APCopyright: APCopyright: ReutersCopyright: EPA
Police have issued details of the arrest in Shelby:
- 10:32 (15:32 BST) - police receive a call from a citizen about a possible sighting of Roof
- 10:43 - officers spot Roof's car
- 10:44 - officers stop the car and identify Roof
- 10:49 - Roof is arrested and taken to the local police station
Shelby Police Chief Jeffrey Ledford said his team contacted Charleston police and they are now working out how he will be taken there (it's about four hours away).Copyright: CBS
Pictures just released of suspect Dylann Roof leaving the police station in Shelby.Copyright: AP
The president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, Richard Cohen has described the shooting as "an obvious hate crime" perpetrated by "someone who feels threatened by our country's changing demographics and the increasing prominence of African Americans in public life".
He notes that since 2000, his group has seen an increase in the number of hate groups in the US.
South Carolina State Library, who employed one of the victims, Cynthia Hurd, closed its premises in Charleston today in memory of her and the others killed in the shooting.
A statement on Facebook said: "Cynthia was a tireless servant of the community who spent her life helping residents, making sure they had every opportunity for an education and personal growth".
We're hearing reports that the Charleston County Building is being evacuated for a bomb threat.
Minutes ago, the coroner was holding a press conference inside the building and naming the victims of last night's shooting.
Earlier a church where a memorial service was being held was evacuated for the same reason.
Earlier, President Obama said he "had to make statements like this too many times". You can see him speaking here.
Here are some of the major shootings while he has been in office:
- a US army psychiatrist opened fire at Foot Hood in Texas, killing 13 in 2009
- a former graduate attacked a Colorado cinema showing the premiere of a Batman film, killing 12 in 2012
- a white supremacist targeted at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, killing six in 2012
- a young man attacked at a Connecticut elementary school, killing 26 people, including 20 children in 2012
- a civilian contractor opened fire at a Washington DC naval base, killing 12 in 2013
The victims have been officially named by the county coroner:
- Cynthia Hurd, 54, female
- Susie Jackson, 87, female
- Ethel Lance, 70, female
- Rev DePayne Middleton-Doctor, 49, female
- Rev Clementa Pinckney, 41, male
- Tywanza Sanders, 26, male
- Rev Daniel Simmons Sr, 74, male, who died in hospital
- Rev Sharonda Singleton, 45, female
- Myra Thompson, 59, female
Charleston’s the Post and Courier has apologised after carrying an advert for a gun store on some of its editions earlier. The image has been very widely shared on social media. In response to a complaint on Facebook, the paper said it was a “deeply regrettable coincidence”.
Michelle Obama, who is visiting Europe, made an unannounced visit to Milan's Duomo Cathedral with her daughters Malia (pictured) and Sasha. She is reported to have lit candles in memory of the victims of the shooting.Copyright: Reuters
We're hearing unconfirmed reports that the coroner will hold a press conference at 15:00 local time (20:00 BST) detailing the victims' identities.
The South Carolina chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has issued a statement.
"Events like this are further evidence that we need to be fighting for racial equality in our daily lives. Although the motives are unclear at this point, this attack against black people in an institution that has such historical and cultural importance detracts from years of healing undertaken by our communities. Senator Pinckney stood for civil liberties and we mourn his loss with the other victims."
The bomb threat at the Morris Brown AME church has been cleared, Charleston County Sheriff's office says.
The family of Walter Scott, the black man shot and killed by police in North Charleston, have said in a statement they were "shocked and saddened" by the latest shooting.
"We are thankful that the individual accused of carrying out this horrific act has been apprehended," they said. "It is our hope that justice will come swiftly."
There has been a bomb threat at the Morris Brown AME Church in South Carolina, the site of vigil for the shooting victims. The BBC's Aleem Maqbool is there.
Charleston county coroner Rae Wooten will speak to the press at 15:00 local time, about an hour from now.
Ernest Britt, a staff member for Charleston mayoral candidate Ginny Deerin, was at the church on Sunday night. He described it in a Facebook post as "absolutely beautiful, but not as beautiful as the people within".
Sunday at the church was "Children's Sunday" and Reverend Clementa Pinckney's entire family was on stage, leading the congregation in prayer, he said.
The Charleston Museum has tweeted a message of condolence for those affected by the shooting.
Another Republican presidential candidate, Ben Carson, has commented, writing on his Facebook page that "last night evil walked the streets of Charleston".
Carson, who is black, added: "In my lifetime I have seen such great progress, although racial-based hate is still very much alive, as last night so violently reminded us."
The White House has tweeted the full video of the president's statement.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights group that tracks hate groups and extremist individuals, says it had not been tracking Dylann Roof before the shooting.
On his Facebook page, he can be seen with a jacket with two patches - both flags of regimes of white minority rule in South Africa and Rhodesia.
And we're now hearing that the car that he drove had a licence plate that featured a confederate flag.
The suspect's car is now being towed under police escort.Copyright: ABCCopyright: ABCCopyright: ABCCopyright: ABC
Cynthia Roldan, a journalist from Charleston's Post and Courier, visited the suspect's home but was told to leave.
Presidential contenders at the Faith and Freedom Conference in Washington have been speaking about the tragedy.
"There's a sickness in our country, there's something terribly wrong, but it's not going to be fixed by our government... It's people not understanding where salvation comes from," said Senator Rand Paul.
"Today the body of Christ is in mourning," said Senator Ted Cruz. "A sick and deranged person came and prayed with a historically black congregation for an hour and then murdered nine souls… Believers across the world are lifting up the congregants."
A makeshift memorial is being made near the church, and people are coming to lay flowers and pay their respects.Copyright: APCopyright: APCopyright: APCopyright: APCopyright: AFP
A fuller picture is emerging of the suspected gunman, a 21-year-old from Lexington, South Carolina, described as "adrift" by his uncle.
Politicians from across the spectrum held a moment's silence at the US Capitol in Washington.Copyright: AFP
A friend of Roof's, Joey Meek, recognised him in one of the surveillance pictures circulated and alerted the FBI, said Joey Meek's mother, Kimberly Kozny.
"I don't know what was going through his head,'' Ms Kozny told AP. "He was a really sweet kid. He was quiet. He only had a few friends.''
More detail on the president's statement, which was delivered with barely concealed anger.
"Innocent people were killed because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun," the president said.
"At some point we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence doesn't happen in other advanced countries... with this kind of frequency."Copyright: ABC
I've had to make statements like this too many times, says Mr Obama. Now is the time for mourning, he says, but this kind of gun violence doesn't happen in other countries and the US must face up to that.
President Obama describes the church as "a sacred place in the history of Charleston and the history of America".
Any shooting is a tragedy, says the US president, but especially in a place of worship, where people seek peace and solace.
President Barack Obama, speaking now, says he knew the church pastor who was killed.
Images are now coming in from North Carolina of the alleged gunman's car. Shelby is about four hours by car from Charleston.Copyright: ABC
Sombre scenes at the statehouse in Columbia, South Carolina, as senators remember Senator Clementa Pinckney, who was killed in the church shooting.
A summary of what the police chief just said:
- the suspect was stopped after a civilian reported a suspicious vehicle
- Shelby North Carolina Police Department arrested him
- the suspect was co-operative when arrested
- police have no reason to believe there are other suspects
- he remains in Shelby for now
BBC News, Charleson
The streets close to the church are deserted, save for a few uniformed police officers. A trickle of people arrive to lay flowers for the victims.
"Peace for the church, the family and their loved ones," reads one handwritten note, tucked into a bouquet of bright flowers. A short drive away, mourners have arrived for a vigil in memory of the deceased.
Reverend Vanessa Johnson is from a nearby church but knew one of the reported victims, Rev Clementa Pinckney.
"All of us are in shock,. We are at a loss for words," she says. Rev Johnson says the Emmanuel church holds a special place in this city's hearts, making the events of Wednesday night so difficult to digest.
- Copyright: ABC
South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has been speaking just now and fighting back tears.
"Parents are having to explain to their kids how they can go to church and feel safe," the governor said. "That's not something we ever thought we'd deal with".
"We are a strong and faithful state," she said. "These nine families need us, the Emanuel AME church needs us".
Charleston Mayor Joseph Riley described the suspect as an "awful person" and a "terrible human being".
"In America, we don't let bad people like this get away we these dastardly deeds".
He said the arrest was an important part of the process of healing.Copyright: ABC
"I am very very pleased to announce that we have made an arrest in this case," said Greg Mullen, Charleston police chief.
He said that the arrest of Dylann Roof was made in Shelby, North Carolina around 11:15 local time (16:15 BST/15:15GMT) during a traffic stop.
Police have confirmed Dylann Roof's arrest at a traffic stop in Shelby, North Carolina.
The White House says President Obama will deliver a statement from the press briefing room on the shooting in South Carolina at 11:45 local time (16:45 BST/15:45 GMT).
In a Facebook picture released by police, Dylann Roof's jacket bears the patches of flags of South Africa and Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) from when the two African countries were ruled by their white minority population.Copyright: Facebook
Police sources have told CNN and various local media that Dylann Roof has been caught and is now in custody. He was reportedly arrested in Shelby, North Carolina.
- Copyright: ABC
The US Attorney General Loretta Lynch has been speaking in the last few minutes.
She said the Department of Justice, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the FBI, US Marshall Service and others are working closely with state and local partners to "locate and apprehend" the suspect who perpetrated what she described as "heart-breaking and deeply tragic events".
"The individual who committed these acts will be found and he will face justice," she said. "We will do everything in our power to help heal this community".
NBC News has published an interview with Sylvia Johnson, Pastor Clementa Pinckney's cousin, who says she spoke to one of the survivors.
She was told that the gunman "reloaded five different times" and that the gunman told the victims: "I have to do it... You rape our women and you're taking over our country, and you have to go."
We're expecting Loretta Lynch, the US Attorney General, to speak imminently.
She was scheduled to speak about law enforcement actions against fraud, but journalists will be watching to see what she says about the newly-launched hate crime investigation.
The suspect in the Charleston shooting, Dylann Roof, was given a gun for his 21st birthday, his uncle told Reuters. Carson Cowles said he recognised the man in photos released by police as his nephew.
There's also been a debate on social media about the language being used to describe the incident.
Keith White, who lives in Washington, tweeted: "You know if this guy had an Arabic sounding last name the city of Charleston would be on lockdown."
Andrew Stroehlein, who lives in Brussels and works for Human Rights Watch, tweeted: "9 dead in Charleston terror attack - or rather 'senseless killing' because shooter's white".
For more on this debate see by BBC Newsbeat's Felicity Morse.
- Copyright: Reuters
The BBC's Trending team has been exploring how some people on social media linked the attack to the flying of the Confederate flag, and the strong reaction that notion has generated. Here's the article.
South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, who is running for president, has just released a statement, saying: "Our sense of security and well-being has been robbed and shaken."
Instagram users have taken to sharing images under the #prayforcharleston hashtag in a sign of solidarity with the city.
This is one of the images released by police of the suspect, Dylann Roof. It was taken from his Facebook page.Copyright: BBC
City of Charleston Police are now naming the suspect as Dylann Roof of Lexington, South Carolina.
They say he may be driving a black Hyundai with licence plate "LFG330".
US Attorney General Loretta Lynch is due to speak at 11:00 local time (15:00 GMT) at a press conference on fraud, but she may also make a statement about the shooting in Charleston.
Moments ago it was announced that the Department of Justice is opening a hate crime investigation into the incident.
Residents of Charleston are waking up to the news, and some have begun to leave flowers near the church.Copyright: Reuters
It is Thursday morning now in Charleston. Police remain outside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.Copyright: Reuters
Traditionally black churches played a key role throughout the history of the civil rights movement, making them a target for hate crimes.
One of the worst attacks was the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963, which killed four young girls.
Four suspects were identified by the FBI in 1965, but convictions took decades. One man was convicted in 1977, two others were convicted in the early 2000s, and the fourth died in 1994 having never faced prosecution for the crimes. All were thought to be members of a group associated with the Ku Klux Klan.
Soon after the shooting, a group began praying near the church.Copyright: Reuters
Christopher Cason, a community leader, referred to the death of Walter Scott in giving his reaction to the shooting.
"We're talking about a Caucasian killing blacks, we just seen it the other week in North Charleston and that was a police officer. We're tired, we're fed up with this, we've had enough."
Scott was killed when he was shot in the back by a police officer, who is to go on trial for murder.
The US has opened a federal hate crime investigation into the Charleston shooting, the Department of Justice says. It will run alongside the state of South Carolina's inquiry.
- Copyright: City of Charleston
Some facts about Charleston (flag above):
- 120,083 population
- 25.4% black
- settled by English colonists in 1670
- originally called Charles Town in honour of King Charles II
- renamed Charleston in 1783
- the first shots of the Civil War were fired at Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbour
Two key figures in the 2016 presidential race, Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton were, by coincidence, campaigning or due to be campaigning in South Carolina.
Ms Clinton gave a speech in North Charleston before the attack, and later tweeted: "Heartbreaking news from Charleston - my thoughts and prayers are with you all. -H"
Mr Bush has cancelled the event he was to host at the Charleston Maritime Center, just a few blocks from the church.
- Copyright: CBS
The president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Cornell William Brooks, has told CBS the killings are "not only a desecration of the sanctuary, it is a desecration of the soul of the country".
He said bible studies like the one attacked in the church are welcoming and inclusive, so the suspect would have been greeted warmly before he committed his "morally incomprehensible" crime.
"To have this kind of tragedy take place in a bible study is shocking".
Clementa Pinckney, the pastor and senator believed to be one of the victims, was a rising star of Democrat politics in South Carolina.
He spoke about his politics as an extension of his religious mission. Earlier this year, Mr Pinckney appeared at rallies to protest at the death of Walter Scott, an unarmed black man shot dead by a police officer in Charleston.
In 1998, the veteran Washington Post political reporter, David Broder, met Mr Pinckney and described him as a "spirit-lifter".
A help centre has been opened in Charleston for families of the victims. It will be based at a hotel in the city, staffed by chaplains and local victim services.
Police are racing to identify the gunman.Copyright: AP
Emergency management officials are distributing this flier hoping the public might recognise the man seen on CCTV entering the church.Copyright: AFP
The slender white man seen in the footage, the key suspect so far in the case, has a distinctive bowl-type haircut, is approximately 5 feet and 9 inches (175.2 cm) tall, and in his early 20s.
His cousin Kent Williams, also a state Senator, has described him as a peacemaker, loved by everyone, and it was "beyond imagination" how anyone could commit such a crime.
And there's a picture of pastor and state Senator Clementa Pinckney available now, who is believed to be among the dead.Copyright: European photopress agency
Charleston police chief Gregory Mullen has said he believes the attack was a hate crime.
The FBI tracks hate crime statistics across the US and has published data for 2013, the most recent year for which data is available:
- US law enforcement agencies reported 3,563 victims of racially-motivated hate crime
- of those, 66.5% were victims whose attackers were motivated by anti-black or African American bias
The church's pastor, state Senator Clementa Pinckney, is reported to be among the dead. His fellow senator, Marlon Kimpson, told CNN he was a "giant".
"He was the moral compass of the state Senate," he added.
Robert Greene, an academic who specialises in African-American history, has been explaining why the church is so significant.
"It's not just a church. It's also a symbol… of black freedom," he told the Washington Post. "That's why so many folks are so upset tonight, because it's a church that represents so much about the rich history and tradition of African Americans in Charleston."
The Emanuel Church is right in the centre of Charleston and sits on one of the main roads into the city.Copyright: BBC
The church which was attacked, the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church, has played a notable role in African-American history, which you can read more about here.Copyright: Google
The news conference has now ended. Here's what we learnt:
- there are three survivors from the attack
- the gunman was at the church for nearly an hour before the shooting took place
- the dead include six women and three men
- police do not know the gunman's whereabouts
There are three survivors of the attack, according to police.
Mr Mullen says that the whereabouts of the suspect is unknown. He urges people to be vigilant and aware of their surroundings.
City police chief Gregory Mullen says the gunman was in the church for nearly an hour before the shooting took place and was attending the prayer meeting.
"You will see an outpouring of love and kindness and help," says Mayor Riley.
He says that the community will put their arms around the church and its family.
Charleston Mayor Joe Riley describes the shooter as a "hateful person" and says that his actions are beyond comprehension.
This is the image of the suspect that police have released.Copyright: EPA
"This tragedy that we're addressing right now is indescribable. No-one in this community will ever forget this night," says Mr Mullen.
City police chief Gregory Mullen is speaking at a press conference. He says there were three male victims and six females. One victim was rushed to hospital but died later.
Just to recap, at 21:05 local time on Wednesday (01:05 GMT Thursday) police responded to a call from the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.
When police arrived, eight people were found dead and another died later at hospital. The church's pastor, state Senator Clementa Pinckney, is reported to be among the dead.
Police issued an initial description of the suspect as white, about 21, slender build and clean shaven and wearing a grey sweatshirt, blue jeans and Timberland boots.
They later said he was seen driving away from the church in a black four-door saloon car.
Hello and welcome to the BBC's live coverage of the aftermath of the shootings of nine people at a historic African-American church in Charleston in the US state of South Carolina.
Stay with us for the latest updates - reports from our correspondents on the ground, expert analysis, and your reaction from around the world. You can contact us via email, text or Twitter. We'll publish what we can.