NEWTOWN -- Colorful holiday decorations disappeared here Saturday, replaced by somber black bunting, flags at half-staff and dozens of candles set in a hastily created shrine honoring the 26 Sandy Hook Elementary School victims mercilessly gunned down by an armed madman the day before.

By late Saturday afternoon, State Police had released the names of the 12 little girls and eight young boys slaughtered by Adam Lanza, 20, with a powerful, military-style assault rifle, adding another layer of pain on a community already reeling from Friday's bloodbath.

The list of the dead also included six adult women -- teachers, counselors and administrators -- at the kindergarten through fourth-grade school in this close-knit suburb that was once a fertile farming community.

One of the children killed was Emilie Parker, 6, whose father Robbie said she "brightened up" every room she entered and delighted in teaching her two younger sisters to dance and read.

"I'm blessed to be her dad," he said, choking back tears.

Parker, who moved to Newtown just eight months ago to take a physician assistant job in Danbury Hospital's newborn intensive care unit, amazingly said he bore no ill will towards the Lanza family.

"Our family's love and support go out to you as well," he said. "I can't imagine how hard this experience has been on you."

Late Saturday, Peter Lanza, the mass murderer's father, responded with his own thoughts.

"Our hearts go out to the families and friends who lost loved ones and to all those who were injured," he said. "Our family is grieving along with all those who have been affected by this enormous tragedy. No words can truly express how heartbroken we are. We too are asking why."

It remained unclear why Lanza, a former honor student who had trouble making friends, went on the killing spree after fatally shooting his mother and before finally killing himself.

"This is an active case," said State Police Lt. J. Paul Vance. "We are still pursuing leads."

Vance said investigators found in evidence at the Lanza home at 36 Yoganada Drive in Newtown that will help them determine "how and more importantly, why this occurred."

But another law enforcement source told the Associated Press, no note or manifesto typically left behind by similar mass murderers had been found.

What investigators do know is that the guns found near Lanza's body, a semi-automatic Bushmaster rifle which killed all of the school victims, and Glock and Sig Sauer handguns, were bought legally by his mother, Nancy Lanza, who was an avid target shooter who often practiced with her son, according to a New York Times report.

Time to grieve

The grieving spread across the U.S. and the world.

At every NFL game Sunday, there will be a moment of silence for the victims.

In Atlanta, the New York Giants dark blue helmets will contain the letters SHES - for Sandy Hook Elementary School

And President Barack Obama will arrive in Newtown to meet with devastated parents of the victims, thank traumatized first responders and attend a 7 p.m. interfaith vigil.

Many of the town's 27,000 residents sought comfort Saturday in houses of worship or at impromptu memorial vigils.

"Yesterday morning changed our town forever," said David Baxter standing outside the Newtown United Methodist Church.

For many, there will be no festive holiday - just funerals.