A day after a bomb blew open a wall of their church and injured 33 people, worship-ers declared their faith unshaken and hoped investigators would find a motive.
"First, I'm praying for the people who were seriously hurt. Then I'm praying the police catch whoever did this. He definitely meant to kill us," said Lori Van Note, who was reaching for her Bible when the blast rocked the First Assembly of God Church on Sunday morning.Authorities on Monday confirmed the explosion was caused by a bomb, but said little else.
The explosion, which seriously injured two teen-agers and blew a hole in the wall, was the second church bombing in Vermilion County in less than six months.
Church volunteer Brian Plawer, 46, was killed Dec. 30 when he moved a box containing a bomb that was placed outside the Oakwood United Methodist Church about 10 miles west of Danville.
There have been no arrests in either case. Authorities were treating the bombings as separate incidents, said special agent Jerry Singer of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
Tuesday's Chicago Tribune quoted unidentified law enforcement sources as saying there was a suspect in the first bombing who has not been arrested and who did not appear to be connected to Sunday's explosion. The story did not indicate why the suspect had not been arrested or what the alleged motive was.
Singer would give few details about the Danville bomb. The News-Gazette in Champaign quoted sources as saying that it was a homemade pipe bomb.
The ATF laboratory in Rockville, Md., will examine the Danville explosives for any resemblance to the Oakwood bomb and others throughout the country, Singer said.
Sunday's bomb, placed outside the church between a wall and an air conditioning unit, exploded just as the Rev. Dennis Rogers was concluding an offering prayer. Most of the injured were teenagers who had been sitting near the wall.
The church was less crowded than usual because of the holiday weekend. Many younger children had left the church about 10 minutes before the blast, which shattered windows across the street and rattled windows seven blocks away.
Two girls, ages 14 and 15, were upgraded from serious to good condition Monday night at a hospital in Urbana, where they were being treated for head cuts. Three victims were in fair condition in a Danville hospital. One was released Monday.
Rogers said he planned to hold a worship service in a nearby gym Tuesday night.
"The sooner we get back in full stride, the better," he said.