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TODAY   |  April 22, 2013

Source of West, Texas, explosion found

Authorities investigating the explosion that took place at a West, Texas, fertilizer plant last week say they have found the origin of the explosion, as lawmakers question whether chemical storage regulations need to be strengthened. NBC’s Gabe Gutierrez reports.

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>>> now to latest on the recovery efforts in west, texas, as residents comb through the rebel caused by that fertilizer plant explosion and search for answers. gabe gutierrez remains there on the scene with the latest. gabe, good morning.

>> reporter: good morning. more residents are expected to return home through police check points like this one as investigators search for clues at the blast epicenter. many questions linger about how and why this happened. this morning, new images obtained by nbc news inside the nursing home torn apart by last week's massive explosion.

>> it was just black smoke . it was windows all blown out. i thought my god, what has happened?

>> reporter: administrator roseanne morris wants the world to know of the heroic efforts of the volunteers and first responders who rushed to pull 130 elderly residents from the rubble. has it finally sunk in yet?

>> no, not really.

>> reporter: you can hear the panic in the 911 calls.

>> look, our house, our whole windows, everything, it sounded like a bomb, and i'm looking outside and there's like a bomb on 35. i don't know what is going on.

>> reporter: investigators say they found the origin of the explosion. but won't say where it is and they still aren't sure what caused wednesday's initial fire.

>> we do not have a timeline.

>> reporter: the fertilizer facility's owner says the company is working closely with investigators and pledges to do everything it can to understand what happened, but already some lawmakers are asking whether chemical storage regulations need to be strengthened. but residents just wonder how long it will take to rebuild.

>> there's a big explosion and our house is just destroyed.

>> reporter: local authorities say no one is missing. the death toll remains at 14. a public memorial for first responders is now scheduled for later this week. natalie?

>> gabe gutierrez once again in west, texas. thanks so much, gabe.