WASHINGTON — With little official information to guide them, members of Congress said Monday there was scant or no doubt that the deadly Boston Marathon explosions were acts of terrorism and vowed to bring anyone responsible to justice.
"We just don't know whether it's foreign or domestic," said Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security.
"My understanding is that it's a terrorist incident," Sen. Dianne Feinstein told reporters, saying she had been in contact with U.S. intelligence agencies. Feinstein, who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, said intelligence officials reported no advance warning that "there was an attack on the way."
Sen. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, the senior Republican on the panel, issued a written statement that said, "As the evidence mounts that this was a terrorist attack, our intelligence and law enforcement agencies must do whatever is necessary to find and interrogate those responsible so we can prevent similar attacks."
The remarks stood in contrast to President Barack Obama's own brief statement at the White House, where he made no mention of terrorists or terrorism as a possible cause of the bombings.
Two other members of the intelligence panel, Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Angus King, I-Maine, said "initial news reports that multiple improvised explosive devices may have been involved at this high profile national event bear the hallmarks of a terrorist attack."
McCaul spoke with reporters in the House, and said he had talked with federal and state officials in the hours since the attack that he said "had all the hallmarks of terrorism."
Members of the House and Senate intelligence committees said they expected to be briefed on the attack on Tuesday.
Majority Leader Harry Reid said on the Senate floor that Obama had spoken with officials in Massachusetts and "pledged every federal resource available ... to bring justice to the perpetrators...."
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said "we will ensure that justice will be done" as the casualty toll mounted in explosions blamed for at least two deaths and dozens of injuries.
Lawmakers in both houses marked the bombings with moments of silence.
Reid led the Senate in a brief pause, and officials said Speaker John Boehner intended to do the same when the House convened later Monday.
In a written statement, Boehner said: "This is a terrible day for all Americans, but we will carry on in the American spirit, and come together with grace and strength."
Associated Press writers Andrew Taylor, Donna Cassata, Richard Lardner and Andrew Miga contributed to this report.
Also on HuffPost:
Gov. Deval Patrick (D-Mass.)
“This is a horrific day in Boston. My thoughts and prayers are with those who have been injured. I have been in touch with the President, Mayor Menino and our public safety leaders. Our focus is on making sure that the area around Copley Square is safe and secured. I am asking everyone to stay away from Copley Square and let the first responders do their jobs.”
President Barack Obama
<blockquote>The American people will say a prayer for Boston tonight. And Michelle and I send our deepest thoughts and prayers to the families of the victims in the wake of this senseless loss. ... We still do not know who did this or why. And people shouldn’t jump to conclusions before we have all the facts. But make no mistake -- we will get to the bottom of this. And we will find out who did this; we'll find out why they did this. Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice. Today is a holiday in Massachusetts -- Patriots’ Day. It’s a day that celebrates the free and fiercely independent spirit that this great American city of Boston has reflected from the earliest days of our nation. And it’s a day that draws the world to Boston’s streets in a spirit of friendly competition. Boston is a tough and resilient town. So are its people. I'm supremely confident that Bostonians will pull together, take care of each other, and move forward as one proud city. And as they do, the American people will be with them every single step of the way.</blockquote>
Vice President Joe Biden
VP Biden: "Our prayers are with those people in Boston who have suffered injuries. I don’t know how many there are."
Sen. William "Mo" Cowan (D-Mass.)
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)
Former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney (R)
Former Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.)
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.)
Rep. John Tierney (D-Mass.)
Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.)
Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-Mass.)
Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.)
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.)
Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.)
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R)
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R)
Gov. Maggie Hassan (D)
Rep. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.)
Speaker John Boehner
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)
Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.)
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.)
Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho)
Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.)
Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.)
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas)
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas)
Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.)
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah)
Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.)
Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.)
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.)
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.)
Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.)
Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.)
Sen. Angus King (I-Maine)
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.)
Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii)
Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.)
Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.)
Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska)
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.)
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)
Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.)
Sen. David Vitter (R-La.)
Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.)
Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii)
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine)
Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.)
Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.)