NEWTOWN, CT - DECEMBER 16: Connecticut State Police officers walk out of St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church after a threat to the church was received during the first day of Sunday services following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 16, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. The church was evacuated during noon mass due to the unspecified threat and will remain closed the rest of the day. Police have reportedly now given the 'all clear' for the area. On Friday, December 14, twenty six people were shot dead, including twenty children, after a gunman identified as Adam Lanza opened fire in the school. Lanza also reportedly had committed suicide at the scene. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
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Police: No danger at Newtown, Conn. church after phoned threat

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NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) -- Worshippers hurriedly left a church Sunday when someone phoned in a threat as parishioners remembered 20 children and six adults who were massacred at an elementary school, but police later said nothing dangerous was found.

The threat interrupted a busy mass, sent worshippers hurrying from the church and touched off a large police response days after the worst massacre of school-age children in U.S. history.

Halfway through the noon service, the priest stopped and said, "Please, everybody leave. There is a threat," said Anna Wood of Oxford, Conn., one of the worshippers who left.

At least a dozen police in camouflage SWAT gear and carrying guns arrived at the St. Rose of Lima Church. An Associated Press photographer saw police leave carrying something in a red tarp. Guns drawn, they searched the church and adjacent buildings.

Gunman Adam Lanza, his mother and eight of the child victims attended St. Rose of Lima. It is a Roman Catholic Church with an adjacent school, which Lanza attended briefly.

The church hosted overflow crowds at all three morning Masses Sunday.

Wood said everyone left calmly but described a congregation edge. One boy, about 9, left with his mother.

"He asked his mom, 'Mom, why are we leaving?,'" Wood recalled. "The mom couldn't answer. She just started crying."

Copyright Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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