[caption id="attachment_118555" align="alignleft" width="150"] Amid the confusion and sorrow, stories of heroism emerged. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/MCT)[/caption]

While church leaders and President Barack Obama prepared to comfort a grieving town Dec. 16, federal agents planned to fan out to dozens of gun stores and shooting ranges across Connecticut, chasing leads they hoped would cast light on the life of school shooter Adam Lanza.

Among the questions: Why did his mother, a well-to-do suburban divorcee, keep a cache of high-power weapons in the house? What experience did Lanza have with those guns? And, above...

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