WASHINGTON -- White House counsel Bernard Nussbaum scoured the office of Vince Foster Thursday, but found no clues to explain why President Clinton's friend and lawyer would kill himself, a spokeswoman said.
Press secretary Dee Dee Myers said Foster's office, locked after Foster was found dead Tuesday in suburban Virginia, was unsealed in the presence of U.S. Park Police, FBI, Justice Department and Secret Service.
Myers said in a statement that a lawyer representing Foster's family was also present.
She said Nussbaum, Foster's immediate boss, 'conducted a thorough search of Foster's office' in the presence of the federal officials. 'No suicide note nor any other document bearing on his death were discovered,' she said.
Meanwhile, federal investigators began interviewing White House staffers to better understand Foster's mood and actions in his final days. But they conceded they may never know why he would put a gun to his head and pull the trigger.
Foster, 48, Clinton's lifelong friend and deputy White House counsel, was discoverd dead in a federal park in McLean, Va., at about 6 p.m. Tuesday with a single gunshot.
U.S. Park Police and Fairfax medical examiner's office ruled it a suicide.
'We're 99 percent sure it was a suicide, but we just want to tie up any possible loose ends to confirm it,' said Major Robert Hines, a Park Police spokesman.
He explained investigators had arranged to check Foster's calendar and appointments, examine his office papers and interview people he spoke with in recent days.
A somber Clinton told reporters, 'His family, his friends, his co- workers have been up late two nights in row -- crying, laughing talking about him. I don't think there is any more to know.'
The president arranged to fly to Little Rock, Ark., Friday to speak at Foster's funeral service and then attend the burial in their hometown of Hope, Ark.
Clinton's wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and mother, Virginia Kelly, will also attend the service and burial.
Kelly, reached at her home in Hot Springs, Ark., said, 'we're all devastated' by the death of Foster. 'I grew up with his parents.'
'I can only say he was a fine young man,' she said. 'We have no earthly idea' why he would take his life. 'What can you say?'
U.S. Park Police were heading the investigation since Foster's body was found on federal land, Marcy Park. The Justice Department was serving as a point of contact for the White House in the probe.
Myers said the inquiry was confined to confirming if Foster had indeed killed himself. She said it would not attempt to determine a motive.
'These things are mysteries,' she said.
Hines agreed that investigators are often unable to unearth a motive in a suicide, but said they would attempt to doso.
'We're trying to find some piece of information that would give him a reason to take his own life,' Hines said. 'It would help confirm that it was a suicide.'
Myers said Foster's body, accompanied by Associate Attorney General Webster Hubbell, was flown to Little Rock Thursday aboard a military aircraft. She said his family flew to Little Rock on a private plane.
She said Nussbaum conducted the search of Foster's office so as to protect the confidentiality of the lawyer-client relationship between the president and Foster.
The press secretary said White House staffers were still trying to deal with his death.
'I think there's always a lingering sadness when you lose a friend, and particularly in such a tragic way, but I think people are pretty much back to business and focused on the tasks at hand,' she told reporters.
'I think it will take a while for people to fully get over the circumstances of Vince Foster's death, but we're doing pretty well.'