- The resumption of classes at all Newtown's schools except Sandy Hook on Tuesday brought a return of familiar routines, something students seemed to welcome as they arrived aboard buses festooned with large green-and-white ribbons - the colors of the stricken elementary school.
Meanwhile, at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church, back-to-back funerals were held for first-graders James Mattioli and Jessica Rekos, both 6, the third and fourth so far and the first of eight to be held in the coming days at the church. Memorial services and wakes were also held for some of the adult victims, including 27-year-old first-grade teacher Victoria Soto.
Tensions in the shattered community ran high as the grief of parents and townspeople collided with the crush of media reporting on the shootings and the funerals.
Police walked children to parents waiting in cars to protect them from the cameras. Many parents yelled at reporters to leave their children and the town alone.
At one Newtown school, students found some comfort from Ronan, an Australian shepherd therapy dog from Good Dog Foundation in New York.
Owner Lucian Lipinsky took the dog to a fifth-grade science and math class where students were having difficulty coping with the tragedy. Most started smiling immediately.
Lipinsky told the students they could whisper their secrets into Ronan's ear.
"It's pretty amazing how a lot of kids will just go whisper in his ear and tell them their secret, and, of course, he doesn't tell anyone," Lipinsky said. "He's a very good dog."
Investigators have found no letters or diaries that could explain the attack, even as more fragments of 20-year-old gunman Adam Lanza's life emerged Tuesday.
As a teenager, Lanza was so painfully shy that he would not speak or look at anyone when he came in for a haircut about every six weeks, always accompanied by his mother, said stylists in the Newtown hair salon Lanza frequented.
Cutting Adam Lanza's hair "was a very long, half an hour. It was a very uncomfortable situation," stylist Diane Harty said, adding that she never heard his voice.
Another stylist, Jessica Phillips, said Nancy Lanza would give her son directions about what to do and where to go. He would move only "when his mother told him to," said a third stylist, Bob Skuba.
Meanwhile, the outlines of a national debate on gun control began to take shape.
A former co-chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus, Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Calif., and 10-term House Republican Jack Kingston, a Georgia lawmaker elected with strong National Rifle Association backing, were the latest to join the call to consider gun control as part of a comprehensive, antiviolence effort next year.
"Put guns on the table. Also put video games on the table. Put mental health on the table," Kingston said.
But he added that nothing should be done immediately, saying, "There is a time for mourning and a time to sort it out. I look forward to sorting it out and getting past the grief stage."
White House spokesman Jay Carney said President Obama was "actively supportive" of a plan by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., to introduce legislation to reinstate an assault weapons ban. Obama has long supported a ban, but he did little to get it passed during his first term.
Meanwhile, the National Rifle Association, silent since the shootings, said in a statement that it was "prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again." It gave no indication what that might entail. (For more on the NRA, see Will Bunch's column on Page 10.)
In related news ...
* A Utah sixth-grader caught with a .22 caliber handgun at school Monday told administrators he brought the weapon to defend himself in case of an attack similar to Newtown's, officials said Tuesday.
The 11-year-old was being held in juvenile detention on suspicion of possessing a dangerous weapon and aggravated assault after other students at the suburban Salt Lake City elementary school told police he had threatened them with the handgun at recess.
-Daily News wire services