Here is what we know about the shootings.
Around 5 p.m. Tuesday, the first shooting was reported at Young’s Asian Massage near Acworth, a suburb northwest of Atlanta, said Capt. Jay Baker of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office. Four people died and a fifth person, a Hispanic man, was injured.
At 5:47 p.m., the Atlanta police responded to a report of a robbery at Gold Spa in the northeastern part of the city. The authorities found the bodies of three women with gunshot wounds. While they were at the scene, officers received a report of shots fired at the Aromatherapy Spa across the street, where they found the body of another woman.
Who is the suspect and how was he caught?
Around 6:30 p.m., the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office released surveillance images of the suspect, who was wearing a black and red shirt and driving a black S.U.V. outside one of the massage parlors.
About 90 minutes later, the sheriff’s office in Crisp County, Ga., about 150 miles south of Atlanta, received information that the suspect was traveling south on Interstate 75. Georgia State Patrol and Crisp County deputies spotted a black 2007 Hyundai Tucson around mile marker 101, the authorities said. A state trooper performed a maneuver, causing the S.U.V. to spin out of control. The driver was arrested without incident.
The suspect, who is white, was identified as Robert Aaron Long, 21, of Woodstock, Ga.
A 9-millimeter gun was found in his vehicle, the authorities said. Matt Kilgo, a lawyer for Big Woods Goods, a gun shop and shooting range in Canton, Ga., said Mr. Long bought a gun legally from the shop on Tuesday, before the shooting.
Mr. Long is scheduled to be arraigned on Thursday, officials said. He was charged with a total of eight counts of murder and one count of aggravated assault, and was being held without bond, according to the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office and the Atlanta Police Department.
The authorities said they did not believe that there was a racial motive for the shootings but had not ruled it out. Captain Baker said that Mr. Long told law enforcement officials that he had a “sexual addiction” and that he saw the spas as a temptation “that he wanted to eliminate.”
6 of the 8 victims were Asian women.
Six of the people killed were women of Asian descent, and two were white, according to law enforcement officials. All but one were women.
The authorities identified the victims of the shooting at Young’s Asian Massage as Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33, of Acworth; Paul Andre Michels, 54, of Atlanta; Xiaojie Tan, 49, of Kennesaw, Ga.; and Daoyou Feng, 44.
A fifth person, Elcias R. Hernandez-Ortiz, 30, of Acworth, was walking past the parlor to a money exchange business next door, when he was shot in his forehead, throat, lungs and stomach, according to his family.
The police took steps to protect Asian communities.
Georgia’s Asian-American population has grown in recent decades. About 7.6 percent of residents in Fulton County, which includes Atlanta, are of Asian descent, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
No matter what Mr. Long’s motive was, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms of Atlanta said the city wanted to provide resources and protection to Asians in the aftermath of the shootings.
Police departments in at least two American cities — New York and Seattle — moved on Tuesday to increase patrols amid a rise in hate crimes targeting Asians.
Nearly 3,800 hate incidents targeting Asian-Americans have been reported in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., since last March, Stop AAPI Hate said in a new report earlier in the day.
The F.B.I. was assisting the local authorities in the investigation.
Reporting was contributed by Davey Alba, Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, Choe Sang-Hun, Ben Decker, Richard Fausset, Sean Keenan, Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio, Azi Paybarah, Frances Robles, Edgar Sandoval, Neil Vigdor and Allyson Waller.