Scene of the shooting
Scene of the shooting Reuters

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions said on Saturday the Justice Department intends to file hate crime and other charges against the man accused of carrying out the shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue in which 11 people were murdered.

In a statement quoted by The Associated Press, Sessions said the killings were "reprehensible and utterly repugnant to the values of this nation."

The United States attorney in Pittsburgh said federal charges could be filed as soon as Saturday.

The gunman has been identified as 46-year-old Robert Bowers, who reportedly yelled "All Jews must die" during the attack.

Before entering the synagogue, Bowers tweeted that "I can't wait while my people are getting slaughtered....I'm going in". His social media was rife with anti-Semitic comments.

President Donald Trump described Bowers as "pure evil".

"This wicked act of mass murder is pure evil [...] You wouldn't think this would be possible in this day and age, but we just don't seem to learn from the past," Trump said during a rally in Indianapolis.

"There must be no tolerance for anti-Semitism in America or for any form of religious or racial hatred or prejudice."

"We are praying for the families of the victims and our hearts go out to the wounded law enforcement officers in Pittsburgh," added Trump.