The deadliest shooting in modern Canadian history unfolded over 12 hours at the weekend, beginning on Saturday near the rural town of Portapique.
Little is known about what motivated the suspected shooter, 51-year-old Gabriel Wortman, or how he chose his victims.
At about 23:32 local time on Saturday officers responded to a “firearms complaint” at a home and advised residents to lock themselves indoors.
The officers found “several casualties” inside and outside the home, but did not find the suspect.
A neighbour told CBC News that he saw three properties were also on fire in the area at the time.
The gunman was identified on Sunday after carrying out shootings over a series crime scene that police said were “scattered across the province”.
Authorities are in the early stages of the “extremely complex investigation”, said Chief Superintendent of the Nova Scotia RCMP Chris Leather.
Including the suspect, there are some 19 victims across 16 crime scenes, including five structure fires”We believe there may be victims within the remains of those homes which burned to the ground,” Mr Leather said.
Some victims were known to the suspect but others were selected at random, Mr Leather said, though he would not elaborate on the nature of these relationships.
At some points in the 12-hour rampage, the suspect travelled in a car made to look like an RCMP cruiser. He also wore an RCMP uniform, either an “actual uniform or very good facsimiles”, he said.
“The fact that this individual had a uniform and a police car at his disposal certainly speaks to it not being a random act.” RCMP officials say more victims may be identified in the remains of some of the burnt-out buildings.
Due to provincial restrictions on public gatherings put in place to stop the spread of Covid-19, there can be no mass public vigil.
Instead, a national online vigil will be held on Friday evening, which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he will attend virtually.
“As we learn more about what happened, it important that we come together to support communities,” he said Monday.
Mr Trudeau said that his Liberal party was “on the verge” of introducing bans to assault style weapons before parliament was dissolved amid the coronavirus outbreak. “We have every intention of moving forward”, once the outbreak is curbed, he said.
A national virtual vigil will be held this week to honour nearly 20 victims of Canada’s deadliest shooting, which unfolded in Nova Scotia as the province was locked-down due to coronavirus.
Virus restrictions continue and authorities said they would not be lifted to allow public gatherings to mourn victims.
At least 18 people were shot dead by a gunman during a 12-hour weekend rampage.
The gunman was killed by police.