Police arrested a man with a pipe bomb and explosive device at a town in Ohio just hours before hundreds of mourners gathered there in a vigil for the Charlottesville dead.

Elijah Blankenship from Ohio, 26, was detained by police after they found a bomb and what appeared to be a homemade firework in his car, just four miles from the site where a candlelight vigil was held on 16 August.

Hours later almost 500 people gathered at a vigil in Akron to honour the two police officers and 32-year-old Heather Heyer, who lost their lives when a 'Unite the Right' rally in Charlottesville turned violent on 12 August.

Blankenship has been charged with possession of dangerous ordnance and carrying a concealed weapon, according to court documents obtained by the Cleveland Plain Dealer. He remains in custody at the Summit County Jail.

When confronted by police, Blankenship reportedly said that he had a folding knife in his waistband. Officers handcuffed him as a precaution and took the knife, which had reportedly been stolen, into custody.

They also found two small bags containing unidentified drugs in the car.

James Fields, the Neo-Nazi driver who killed Heyer when he ploughed his car into a crowd of anti-fascism protesters, has been charged with murder.

His former High School teacher described Fields as a "very misguided and disillusioned individual" and said that he held views "very much along the lines of the neo-Nazi movement" to the Cincinnati Tribune.