- (Photo: Reuters/Neal Hamberg)
President Barack Obama, several church leaders and humanitarian organizations such as The Salvation Army and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops have pledged their support for victims of the Boston Marathon bombings which rocked that city on Monday.
In a press briefing shortly after the bombings, President Obama said: "I've directed the full resources of the federal government to help state and local authorities protect our people, increase security around the United States as necessary, and investigate what happened."
While noting that the White House still did not have all the answers on why the bombings occurred, he asked the nation to say a prayer for Boston and said victims of the bombings will get all the support they needed.
"I've also spoken with Governor Patrick and Mayor Menino, and made it clear that they have every single federal resource necessary to care for the victims and counsel the families. And above all, I made clear to them that all Americans stand with the people of Boston," he said.
Officers of The Salvation Army and volunteers also deployed two mobile feeding kitchens to downtown Boston on Monday. One kitchen was dedicated to first responders while the other catered to the needs of families in the area.
The organization noted in a statement on Monday that their officers who are trained in crisis counseling would also be available in relevant locations to provide emotional and spiritual care.
"The Salvation Army will be onsite for as long as needed to provide support. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Boston and all who were impacted by the explosions," said Major Ron Busroe, National Community Relations and Development secretary for The Salvation Army.
Meanwhile, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, called for prayers for Boston in a statement on Monday.
"The tragic end to the Boston Marathon April 15 reminds us all that evil exists and that life is fragile," he said.
"The deaths and injuries of people gathered for the celebration on Patriots Day in Boston calls on all of us to pray for the souls of those killed, the healing of those injured, and the restoration of peace for all of us unsettled by the bombings at a world renowned sporting event."
He further noted, "The growing culture of violence in our world and even in our country calls for both wise security measures by government officials and an examination by all of us to see what we can personally do to enhance peace and respect for one another in our world."
As of Tuesday morning, investigators were still seeking help hunting down the perpetrators of the double bombings that killed an 8-year-old boy and two others. More than 150 people have also been hospitalized with some listed as critical.
"No piece of information or detail is too small," the FBI Boston Division told CNN as they asked the public for helpful information about the bombings. Juliette Kayyem, a former U.S. assistant secretary for homeland security said authorities are asking people to check their cell phone cameras for possible leads, among other clues.
Authorities have not established a motive for the bombings and have yet to pin down a suspect, according to a CNN source.