WASHINGTON – House and Senate intelligence committee members have determined that there is no "smoking gun" that could have implicated intelligence agencies for failing to deter the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
Committee findings are not expected until the end of this year, but lawmakers say after thousands of pages of documents they can find no single piece of information that could have been handled differently to prevent the attacks.
The top Republican on the Senate committee, Richard Shelby, R-Ala., said the committee would recognize a smoking gun if they saw it. But he adds, that wasn't what the panel was searching for.
Chairman Bob Graham, D-Fla., also insisted that the committee wasn't engaged in "a witch hunt", searching for one piece of information that would lead to punishment.
Instead, Graham said committee members are looking at the overall picture to see if government officials could have done a better job to prevent the terror attacks.
Lawmakers in both parties, Cabinet secretaries, and President Bush have repeatedly said the attacks weren't an effect of failed intelligence.
Committee members said they are focusing now on future solutions to existing structural communications problems between intelligence and law enforcement agencies. The Committee is looking backward and forward for weaknesses in the system. It is also considering the intelligence components of the new Department of Homeland Security.
Fox News' Carl Cameron and the Associated Press contributed to this report