The chairman of the House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee says it is unclear whether the Boston bombings were foreign-directed, but he says they were "foreign-inspired."
Republican Congressman Mike McCaul of the southwestern U.S. state of Texas says he fears the Boston bombers may have succeeded because "our system failed." McCaul opened the first congressional inquiry for the attacks Thursday.
Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis told the panel he would have liked to have known Russian authorities warned the FBI that suspected bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev was a radical extremist before the April 15 attacks.
Former Senator Joseph Lieberman told lawmakers more threat information should be shared with state and local police, who he called "your first line of defense."
Commissioner Davis called for more use of surveillance cameras and other technology, as well as special police units and more undercover officers as ways to provide tighter security. But he told the committee the public's privacy must also be protected.
Surveillance video aided U.S. officials in identifying brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as suspects in the attack.