Police still have found no motive for yesterday's attack on the in-home facility, located on a quiet, tree-lined street on the city's northwest side.
Authorities now say the slain three-year-old girl was beaten to death -- not shot as police previously had reported.
Still hospitalized with gunshot wounds are the day-care center's owner and her niece. Hospital officials say they've both had several hours of surgery and are both listed in critical condition.
"It appears as though this was not random," Police Chief Ella Bully-Cummings said.
Tate said one of the wounded women owned the day care business.
A 4-month-old boy suffered a head injury, possibly from being dropped, and was taken to a hospital, Bully-Cummings said. Two other children, apparently uninjured, were taken to a hospital as a precaution, authorities said.
The Family Independence Agency, which oversees day care facilities in Michigan, listed the address where the shooting took place as a licensed facility serving up to 12 infants, toddlers or school-aged children.
Police cordoned off a stretch of the leafy residential street in Detroit. Neighbors sat watching on porches and stoops as officials went in and out of the beige house.
"It's awful. I'm ready to move," said Tanya Tate, who sat on a stoop across the street with her 1-year-old daughter on her lap.