Two men have confessed to illegally supplying a gun to a man who entered a Rio de Janeiro school, opened fire and killed at least 12 children before taking his own life, a police official said Saturday.
Charleston Souza de Lucena, 38, and Isaias de Souza, 48, said that they sold a gun to the shooter and regretted having done so, Officer Altamir Ribeiro said. He did not elaborate. He said the two men are not related.
It was not immediately clear if police believe they also supplied the shooter with the second pistol he used in the rampage.
The two men have not been charged. Under Brazilian law, prosecutors file charges only after police have finished investigating.
Also Saturday, a small, private ceremony was held for the 12th victim of the Thursday shooting, 13-year-old Ana Carolina da Silva. About 15 family members wearing T-shirts with a photo of her on them filed into a funeral home where the girl was cremated.
They declined to speak to reporters.
There are fears the death toll from the shooting may rise. Three other children shot at the school are in grave condition and on life support, the Rio state health department said.
Ten girls and two boys ages 12 to 15 were gunned down inside the Tasso da Silveira public school, most lined up along a wall and shot in the head at point-blank range. The shooter, identified as a former student of the school, 23-year-old Wellington Oliveira, killed himself with one of his pistols after being confronted by police. At least 12 other students were wounded.
Family members and neighbors of Oliveira said he was a good student, but had a history of psychological problems. He was also introverted and spent most of his time on his computer, where a brother said he spent time watching videos about firing weapons.
About 300 people formed a human chain around the school on Saturday in a symbolic embrace. For several minutes they prayed and sang religious hymns.
"We have to make the school function again, because children belong in school," said Marcos Gerbatim, an attorney and former Tasso student. "We cannot let one person destroy our community."
Investigators said at least 60 shell casings were found at the school where Oliveira carried out the attack, and that the walls of the elementary school were splattered with blood and marked by dozens of bullet holes. Authorities searching Oliveira's last residence said the gunman had burned his computer, an apparent attempt to thwart an investigation.
There is no known motive for the attack. Oliveira left a rambling letter at the scene of the shootings filled with religious language and in which he included instructions for his own burial.
His body remained in the Rio morgue _ and officials said no family member had yet arrived to claim it.
"There are mental health issues related to this tragedy, but it is also clear that if the access to weapons and ammunition were not so easy, the result would have been different," Rep. Alessandro Molon said after visiting the Tasso school.
Brazil already has strict gun laws.
A 2003 law sharply limited who could legally purchase firearms and carry guns on the street. Anyone wanting to buy a gun must be at least 25, pass a psychological test, prove they need the weapon, have no criminal record, and provide proof that they attended courses on handling guns.
Justice Minister Jose Eduardo Cardozo said the government plans to adopt measures to disarm the population. He did not provide details.
Diogenes Dantas, an adviser to the prosecutor's office for the military justice system, was quoted by the O Globo newspaper in its Friday edition as saying that he supported reforming Brazil's gun laws so that authorities such as prison guards and traffic police could carry arms while off duty to guarantee their own safety "and that of others."
Other officials, however, rejected any relaxation of the laws.
"The more weapons allowed to circulate, the more weapons will wind up in the wrong hands," said Jose Vicente da Silva, Brazil's former public safety secretary. "There must be restrictions, because most weapons now in the hands of criminals were once legal and became illegal when stolen."
Associated Press writers Bradley Brooks and Stan Lehman in Sao Paulo contributed to this report.