"Face the Nation" transcripts December 16, 2012: Newtown tragedy


(CBS News) Below is a transcript of "Face the Nation" on December 16, 2012, hosted by CBS News' Bob Schieffer. Guests include: Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy, Lt. Paul Vance, and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. Plus, a panel with Brady Campaign President Dan Gross, The Daily Beast's David Frum, The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg, LeHigh University's James Peterson; then, CBS News' Bob Orr, John Miller, David Axelrod, and Michelle Miller on the mass shooting at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school.

ANNOUNCER: From CBS News in Washington, Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well it gets worse with every new detail and we'll get into some of that, but here is the latest. Authorities have released the names of the 28 victims, including 20 first grade students, six adult women who worked at the school. The president will attend a memorial service in Newtown later today. He will visit with the families. Many of the early details about what happened were wrong. We are now getting a better handle on what did happen, but so far no one seems to know exactly what motivated the shooter, 20-year-old Adam Lanza. We're going to begin our coverage with the spokesman for the Connecticut state police, Lieutenant Paul Vance. Lieutenant, thank you so much for finding time for us. You said something yesterday that you thought the search of the various crime scenes had been successful, and you might have found something that would help us understand the why and the how of this. What can you tell us about that?

PAUL VANCE, LT. CONNECTICUT STATE POLICE: Well, I can tell you, certainly, that the major crime detectives of the state police have been working continuously since this tragedy unfolded, searching not only the initial crime scene at the school, but a secondary crime scene that we also discovered during the investigation. Investigators have executed a number of search warrants and many, many different locations, and I can't detail what's been recovered, but I can tell you that a significant amount of evidence has been recovered and is being cataloged and processed that will certainly assist us in this investigation.

SCHIEFFER: Well, do you have any better idea today, even if you can't tell us of the details why, of why this person did this?

VANCE: I don't know that we can answer that question just yet. There's an immense amount of work that still needs to be done. There are many, many people in many different locales that need to be interviewed that will assist us in helping us arrive to a successful conclusion. The straight-up answer to your question right at this point in time, we don't have that specific answer.

SCHIEFFER: Can you tell us any more about the family? We know this person killed his mother, shot her in the face. Did your police -- or did the local police, did they know anything about this family? Were there ever police calls to their house? Was there anything that they would have come to the attention of local authorities?

VANCE: No, sir. There -- the initial information we have is that the local police department did not have much contact with -- or any contact with this family. That's -- that's historical information that we need to ensure that we peel back like an onion. We're going to look at every single level of any contact that anyone had in any location, even in any state.

SCHIEFFER: Have you found any suicide notes, any kind of notes of any kind? I understand there were a couple of computers that you may have recovered that had been smashed. What can you tell us about that?

VANCE: Well, I think what's important is that, first of all, I can't discuss the content. It would be counter-productive, but I can tell you that any electronic equipment was seized, any kind of writings, any kind of evidentiary material or anything of any value, and each individual thing will analyzed. And, really, our goal here is to paint a picture. We're going to paint a picture. And we're going to try to answer every single question as to how and why this occurred.

SCHIEFFER: Why did this young man's mother have three guns? Was she a gun collector? Was she a member of some club? Have you found any information about that?

VANCE: We have. We are working with federal authorities, ATF, and others, and we've been able to begin the process of not only tracing the weapons, but going back to their origin, to their manufacture locale any transfer that may have occurred, any purchase of admission, any attempts to purchase other weapons or ammunition. We're looking at that whole, big picture surrounding this weaponry or any respect we that may in fact be effective in this case.

SCHIEFFER: All right. Well, thank you so much Lieutenant. We wish you well in your search. We want to go now to the two correspondents who have been our lead reporters on this. John Miller in New York and Bob Orr here in Washington. John, let me ask you some of the same questions that I just asked the lieutenant. Are your sources giving you any more information on what they may have found here than the lieutenant was able to tell us when?