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Investigators probe Loughner's gun purchase, examine finances
On Capitol Hill, congressional staffers were helping Giffords's staff answer e-mails and record the names of well-wishers. There will be a prayer service for members of Congress at 1 p.m. Wednesday in the Capitol Visitors Center.
Obama will speak Wednesday evening at a memorial service at the University of Arizona's basketball arena. He will be joined by Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., who will read a Bible verse at the event, and Department of Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano, who was Arizona's governor before joining the president's Cabinet.
White House officials gave few details about Obama's planned statement, except that it would probably be succinct. That would be in keeping with remarks by recent presidents, who have responded to massacres and accidents with short, spare comments about those lost.
In Tucson, people were waiting for Obama's words - and wondering if he could say anything that would help calm the nation's political argument.
"There is just so much hatred in this country, I don't know what to do," said Elaine Reznick, 78, who on Tuesday was visiting the shopping center where the shootings took place.
She said she wanted Obama to say something about tightening gun laws - but would accept anything that called on Americans to work together. "The healing of the nation is so much more important. It's so divided," Reznick said. "People are so angry and fearful. There's so much fear."
In their brief statement, the Loughners sought to express their concern for those affected by the rampage, most especially the victims of it.
"It may not make any difference, but we wish that we could change the heinous events Saturday," their statement said. "We care very deeply about the victims and their families. We are so very sorry for their loss."
Fahrenthold reported from Washington. Staff writers Amy Gardner and Clarence Williams in Tucson and Anne E. Kornblut and Jerry Markon in Washington contributed to this report.