9 people are dead after a Wednesday night shooting at the 180-year-old Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. 6 women and 3 men were among the victims.
"Acts like this one have no place in our country," Lynch said. "They have no place in a civilized society."
Childhood friend alerted FBI
Joey Meek, a childhood friend of Roof, alerted the FBI after recognizing him in the widely-circulated surveillance photo. Roof had worn the same sweatshirt that he had on while playing videogames in their home recently.
Police and city officials immediately classified the shooting as a hate crime, and released surveillance images of a white man fleeing the scene.
"This is an unspeakable and unfathomable act by somebody filled with hate and a deranged mind," Charleston Mayor Joseph Riley said in a Thursday morning press conference.
Attorney General Lynch confirmed a Justice Department hate crime investigation is underway.
Rev. Clementa Pinckney, a pastor at the church and a South Carolina state senator, was killed, according to state legislative leaders.
The Post and Courier reported that Roof was arrested twice in South Carolina and was jailed in March in Lexington County on a drug charge. Roof received a .45-caliber pistol from his father for his 21st birthday in April, his uncle told Reuters.