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May 22, 2013

Okla. officials vow not to quit looking until everyone is found

(Continued)

MOORE, Okla. —

Bird said no survivors or victims were found Tuesday.

"At this time, the dogs are not making any hits for persons," Bird said.

U.S. Navy personnel stationed at Tinker Air Force Base were among the search and rescue teams who combed through every piece of rubble at the school. Emergency responders and subsidiary groups helping with the search will be thorough at every building, Bird said.

"We do not need any more volunteers," Bird said. "We appreciate all of the support, but we have enough volunteers at this time."

Crews from Cleveland and Oklahoma counties, as well as other assisting counties from across the state, have helped with search and rescue and clearing roads. Help also came from the National Guard, Cleveland and Oklahoma county sheriffs’ offices, sheriffs departments from across the state, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, as well as fire and police departments from Moore, Oklahoma City, Norman and beyond.

"We will be through every damaged piece of property in this city at least three times before this is done, and we hope to be done by dark tonight," Bird said.

Gov. Fallin thanked FEMA for showing up so promptly. She said Pres. Barack Obama phoned again, promising every means of possible support. Federal agencies including the ATF and FBI arrived Tuesday.

"It’s been a very trying couple of days for the state of Oklahoma," Fallin said. "We’ve also seen the courage and the resilience and the strength of the people."

National Weather Service Warning coordinator Rick Smith said the tornado touched down at 2:45 p.m. and ended at 3:35 p.m. Those 50 minutes are now history, but the enormity of the loss is hard to absorb, even for those who were there 14 years ago when another EF-5 tornado cut a similar path through Moore.

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