Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said a sole attacker died in the blast:
This has been the most horrific incident we have had to face in Greater Manchester and one that we all hoped we would never see.
Families and many young people were out to enjoy a concert at the Manchester Arena and have lost their lives.
Our thoughts are with those 22 victims that we now know have died, the 59 people who have been injured and their loved ones.
We continue to do all we can to support them.
The incident soon made headlines worldwide.
As the news broke in the United States, Fox News called former Ukip leader Nigel Farage to speak on Tucker Carlson's show.
Speaking only hours after the incident, the Ukip leader did not hesitate, when asked if it would affect the general election:
Well, so far in the election, we've been talking basically about Brexit and competing Brexit, and actually terror, open-door immigration, they've played relatively low roles in the election campaign so far. Now, there are 16 days to go.
If it were to turn out that this attack, let's say for argument's sake, had been taken place by somebody who's been fighting with ISIS in Syria and had returned home, then it clearly has the potential to change the way people think and to change the whole debate.
We've just not been talking about security in this election at all so far.
From tomorrow morning, we will be.
At the time, very few details had been confirmed surrounding the attack, and Farage's 'analysis' has been seen by many as political speculation, linking unidentified tragedy with immigration policy.
.@Nigel_Farage tells Fox News, "We've convinced ourselves we're safer than the rest of Europe."
#Manchester is a… https://t.co/Ia7pDHHa9d
Fox News were not the only network to bring on guests that conflated the incident with political issues.
CNN guest Dan Senor said the incident "tells you a lot about the climate in which we are in today. That something like this happens in Europe":
10,15, 20 years ago, our minds wouldn't have immediately gone to a terrorist attack. Between France, and Brussels, and all these terrorist -- UK, these terrorist attacks have been going on around the region, and this constant focus in political environments over the last several years on the two plus million refugees that have come into Europe, via Germany, and now many of whom have spread throughout Europe, and established or inserted themselves into communities that create infrastructure for terror.
Whether this is that or not, that is where people's minds go, and as Spider [Marks] said earlier, Theresa May has got an election coming up this week, she was the Home Secretary under Prime Minister Cameron. She was the equivalent of the Secretary of Homeland Security. She was regarded in the UK as having this strong homeland security credentials.
Police were yet to confirm they considered the incident a terrorist attack when both interviews were made.