Three people died and the gunman was arrested on June 16. The investigating continued past midnight into the morning of June 17, when police revealed the suspected shooter had been to St. Stevens Episcopal Church before.
Services resumed on Sunday days after the shooting.
Shootings continue in American communities while lawmakers in Washington D.C. debate the best way to keep weapons out of the hands of dangerous people.
Who is the Alabama church shooting suspect?
Robert Findlay Smith, 70, faces capital murder charges in the deaths of three church members.
Officials said Smith occasionally visited the church.
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives records obtained by the Associated Press showed Smith was a licensed firearm dealer. His business is listed at his home address.
Federal authorities warned Smith in 2018 about recording the disposition of his guns, according to reporting compiled by The Trace and USA. There were reportedly 86 firearms on hand in inventory during the inspection period.
Smith was booked in Jefferson County Jail in Birmingham, Alabama.
Alabama church shooting motive
Investigators have not publicly released a motive for the shooting.
Smith attended a potluck event at the church on Thursday and people attending described Smith as "disengaged."
The community and church members are left wondering what could have inspired the alleged shooter to commit the murders.
"Why would a guy who’s been around for a while suddenly decide he would go to a supper and kill somebody?" said the Rev. Doug Carpenter, a former St. Stephen’s pastor. "It doesn’t make sense."
Carpenter told the Associated Press a man who introduced himself only as "Mr. Smith," according to witnesses, sat alone at a table. He'd allegedly done the same at previous church dinners.
"People tried to speak to him and he was kind of distant and very much a loner," Carpenter told The Associated Press by telephone.
Carpenter continued, explaining the man declined invitations to sit at other tables and wasn't eating.
Who were the victims?
Walter "Bart" Rainey, 84, of Irondale, and Sarah Yeager, 75, of Pelham died in the shooting.
A third person has only been described as an 84-year-old woman. That person's family requested privacy, police said.
Carpenter said Rainey and his wife tried to invite Smith to eat at their table.
Who subdued the Alabama church shooting suspect?
Police said someone restrained Smith, likely saving lives according to Vestavia Hill Police Captain Shane Ware.
"The person that subdued the suspect, in my opinion, was a hero," Ware said Friday.
The Rev. Doug Carpenter, the church's former pastor who spoke to the Associated Press in a phone call, said a 70-year-old man at the dinner charged the gunman with a chair. That person's identity is unknown.
"He hit him with a folding chair, wrestling him to the ground, took the gun from him and hit him in the head with his own gun," Carpenter said.
Church members held the man down until police arrived. Smith had injuries to his face in his Jefferson County Jail mugshot.
Vestavia Hill, Alabama
The suburb is southeast of Birmingham, Alabama.
The city is described as, "Alabama’s premier place to live, shop, work and play. A progressive, lively city that captures fine southern hospitality, Vestavia Hills is an economically powerful and culturally fascinating community," according to VHAL.org.
St. Steven's Episcopal Church is located on Crosshaven Drive in Vestavia Hills.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.