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FBI AGENTS WORK ON PIECING TOGETHER SHARDS OF RENTAL TRUCK

FBI agents worked Saturday to piece together recovered shards of metal from the rental truck that carried a deadly terrorist bomb to the federal building.

And, as the families of more than 60 missing still waited for news, other workers carried an even grimmer burden from the building: tiny red wagons and twisted tricycles from the building's day-care center.Fears of another collapse hindered search efforts in the area of the building known as "the pit," where part of the day-care center and Social Security offices are thought to lie.

"The building is in a lot worse shape than we thought it was," said assistant fire chief Jon Hansen.

Those organizing the search may eventually have to decide whether it's worth continuing to risk searchers' safety, he said. "The building is not cooperating with us."

City bomb squad Lt. Nathan Pyle said workers were "slowly losing hope that there's going to be anybody left alive." But, "with all the prayers, there's still a chance."

One family's prayers, at least, were answered Saturday, giving a rare moment of relief to a city still facing funerals every day.

"If you ever run across anyone who doesn't believe in miracles, here's one right here," said Jim Denny, looking down at his red-haired daughter, 2-year-old Rebecca, wheeled out of a hospital with her arm in a sling and scabs on her face.

But his joy was only partial. His 3-year-old son, Brandon, is still in very serious condition at another hospital, communicating only by squeezing his parents' hands.

"I almost got him to smile yesterday," the father said.

As workers searched for bodies and pulled debris from the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the FBI and police investigators sat on the ground inside a garage just blocks away, working with small pieces of metal.

The rescue workers have recovered pieces of the bomb itself, plus pieces of the Ryder truck that carried it, Pyle said.

"We're finding anything from golf ball-size pieces to dollar-size pieces to half the frame," Pyle said. All were turned over to the FBI for reconstruction efforts, he said.

The Florida license plate that was on the truck has already been recovered.

Early Saturday, firefighters briefly stopped work and held a moment of silence when they discovered the body of the sister of an Oklahoma City firefighter.

"This one was a lot more personal for us," Hansen said. He would not identify the woman.

The death toll remained at 121, including 15 children.

"We're still looking at four or five days (of locating bodies)," medical examiner Ray Blakeney said. "Hopefully at this time next week, we'll be through."

One thing was helping the rescuers.

"There are stacks and stacks of letters that have come in from children of different ages," said Maj. Homer Jones of the city fire department. "And at any given time when you're in there, you go over, you pick up one and start reading it, and it just really lets you know how appreciated you are."

The FBI, meanwhile, continued following the thousands of tips and purported sightings of the fugitive known as "John Doe No. 2."

Police in Southern California said FBI agents had questioned a 24-year-old man picked up there for investigation of auto theft because he resembled the sketch of John Doe 2 and his car had Oklahoma plates.

But a law enforcement source in Washington said federal investigators believe the man probably isn't related to the bombing. The source spoke on condition of anonymity.

The man was traveling through Oklahoma City the day of the bombing. Asked if that were a coincidence, Santa Monica police Capt. Barney Melekian said: "Probably that's all that is."

In addition to searching for John Doe 2, the FBI is focusing on the town of Kingman, Ariz., in an effort to find out more about suspect Timothy McVeigh, a senior federal official told the Associated Press.

McVeigh, 27, the only person charged in the bombing, is being held without bail based on what a federal magistrate called "an indelible trail of evidence."