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Church Blast Caused By Bomb

They will never forget this Memorial Day weekend in Danville, Ill., reports CBS News Correspodent Jim Axelrod.

This Sunday, someone bombed a church.

The explosion tore a hole in the side of a church and injured 33 people. Federal authorities confirmed that it was caused by a bomb, but they did not disclose what the bomb was made of.

Sunday's explosion was the second church bombing in the area in five months.

"We have determined that it was a bomb. It is an explosive," special agent Jerry Singer of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms said Monday. Residue from the explosive will be sent to a laboratory for examination, he said, and the FBI has joined in the investigation.

Singer said there is no evidence in hand that would tie this explosion to a bomb that killed one person Dec. 30 at a church in nearby Oakwood. There have been no arrests in that incident.

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.

"There is no indication that the [Danville] church has had any prior threats or problems," he added.

The church, a wood frame and metal structure, was built in recent years in one of the more crime-ridden neighborhoods of Danville, a blue-collar city of 34,000 people.

The pastor, Dennis Rogers, said Monday he knew right away it was a bomb because it smelled like gunpowder.

"Even while it was happening, I was saying to myself, 'Was this a dream? Is this really happening?' Nothing can prepare you for this," he said.

Some 300 people were attending Sunday morning's service at the Danville church when the violent blast rocked the church and white smoke filled the sanctuary.

"The wall came in, and stuff was flying," church member Theresa Frazier told CBS News Correspondent Drew Levinson. "There was smoke. We couldn't see anything."

"Some of the kids had nails in their bodies - many cuts," said Rogers. "It was - it looked like a war zone."

Neighbors not only heard the blast, they felt it, reports Levinson. The explosion's force blew out windows in homes across the street.

"I woke up, and the building was trembling, and I saw glass crashing down," said neighborhood resident Shante Sexton.

Two girls, ages 14 and 15, were in serious but stable condition with head lacerations at a hospital in Urbana. Six others were listed in fair or stable condition in a Danville hospital. The 25 others were treated and released.

Church members gathered afterward to pray "that anger would not rule, that we would not ask why, that we would move on," Rogers said.