WASHINGTON - Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss told Channel 2 Action News late Tuesday afternoon that a law enforcement agency may have had information in advance of the Boston bombings that wasn't properly shared.
"There now appears that may have been some evidence that was obtained by one of the law enforcement agencies that did not get shared in a way that it could have been. If that turns out to be the case, then we have to determine whether or not that would have made a difference," Chambliss said.
Though Chambliss would not get into specifics on the information or whether or not the bombing could have been prevented, he told Channel 2 Action News that they will find out if someone dropped the ball.
"Information sharing between agencies is critical. And we created the Department of Homeland Security to supervise that. We created the National Counter Terrorism Center to be the collection point for all of this information, and we're going to get to the bottom of whether or not somebody along the way dropped the ball on some information and did not share it in a way that it should have been shared."
The Senate Intelligence Committee panel was briefed by federal law enforcement officials Tuesday as well. Members of the panel said there is "no question" that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was "the dominant force" behind the Boston attacks, and that him and his brother had apparently been radicalized by material on the Internet rather than by contact with militant groups overseas.
Younger brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's condition was upgraded from serious to fair as investigators continued building their case against the 19-year-old college student. He could face the death penalty after being charged Monday with joining forces with his brother, now dead, in setting off the shrapnel-packed pressure-cooker bombs that killed three people.
Based on preliminary written interviews with Dzhokar in his hospital bed, U.S. officials believe the brothers were motivated by their religious views. It has not been clear, however, what those views were.
Martin Richard, a schoolboy from Boston's Dorchester neighborhood who was the youngest of those killed in the April 15 blasts at the marathon finish line, was laid to rest after a family-only funeral Mass.
"The outpouring of love and support over the last week has been tremendous," the family said in a statement. "This has been the most difficult week of our lives."
A funeral was also held for Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer Sean Collier, 26, who authorities said was shot to death by the Tsarnaev brothers on April 18.
A memorial service for Collier was scheduled for Wednesday at MIT, with Vice President Joe Biden expected to attend.
More than 260 people were injured by the bomb blasts. About 50 were still hospitalized.