Attorney General Eric Holder weighed in on the Trayvon Martin shooting on Wednesday and said the Justice Department faces a “very high barrier” in bringing federal hate crime charges in cases like it.

“Many of you are greatly — and rightly — concerned about the recent shooting death of Trayvon Martin, a young man whose future has been lost to the ages,” Holder said to the civil rights group National Action Network. “If we find evidence of a potential federal criminal civil rights crime, we will take appropriate action, and at every step, the facts and law will guide us forward.”