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Police said it could take months for them to finish their investigation into the attack, which started when Adam Lanza killed his mother, Nancy, at home, before driving to the school armed with a Bushmaster AR 15 rifle and two handguns. He left a shotgun in his car.

Connecticut Governor Daniel Malloy said he had decided on Friday to break the news to the parents and relatives who had spent hours waiting outside the school that their children were dead. That marked a departure from normal practice as officials were struggling to formally identify all the bodies.

“There was a reluctance to tell parents and loved one that the person they were waiting for was not going to return.” Malloy said in a tearful press conference. “I made the decision that to have that go on any longer was wrong. I did it.”

With Newtown schools closed, about 200 volunteers set up an indoor play area to keep children busy. Inside a local youth academy, volunteers urged a boy wearing Spider-man sneakers, a girl carrying a stuffed Dalmation toy and about 1,000 other children to join in athletics, board games, and arts and crafts.

(Additional reporting by Peter Rudegeair, Ed Krudy, Dan Burns, Hilary Russ, Dan Trotta, Kim Palmer, Jonathon Allen, and Susan Heavey; Writing by Scott Malone and Barbara Goldberg; Editing by Doina Chiacu and Jackie Frank)

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