Speaking from New Orleans, Holder declined to name specific companies but said the investigation has been ongoing for "some weeks."
"I don't want to describe exactly who is under investigation, at this point the investigation is and has been ongoing for some time but I wouldn't want to specify at this point who the targets or the subjects are," Holder said.
Earlier in the day following a meeting with the two men heading up his commission on the spill, former Sen. Bob Graham of Florida and former Environmental Protection Agency administrator Bill Reilly, President Obama called for justice.
"If our laws were broken, leading to this death and destruction, my solemn pledge is that we will bring those responsible to justice on behalf of the victims of this catastrophe and the people of the Gulf region," Obama said.
Here in Louisiana, local officials want the White House to concentrate on more immediate needs, such as forcing BP to help build miles of barrier islands to protect the coast.
"I want Admiral Allen to do the right thing and step up to the plate and recommend to the president to authorize every dredge in America to be moved to build these barrier islands…before a hurricane takes a blanket of oil and lays it over coastal Louisiana and destroys it forever," Billy Nungesser, president of Plaquemines parish in Louisiana, said.
When Stephanopoulos questioned Nungesser, saying the president is tripling the number of people heading to the Gulf, Nungesser replied "What are people going to do? Hold hands and keep the oil out?"
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal echoed Nungesser's outrage and said the federal government has been dragging its feet.
"If we'd gotten approval when we asked for this over 21 days ago, we'd have 10 miles built today. With a hundred miles, we'll protect over 4,000 miles of coastline," Jindal said.
"This fight goes on long after the oil spill is capped, long after they take it off the surface of the water…we're going to be dealing with this oil for months and years. For Louisiana this is a marathon," Jindal said.
"You get hit by a hurricane and you know what you have to do after you're allowed to come back in, you rebuild your own, you rebuild your business, you get back on track, your life is going to move forward again," Bobby Terrebonne, captain of Gotcha Fishing Charters, said. "We don't know where we're going to be at with this, we don't know where we stand, we can't fight it, we have no control over it
Local residents told Stephanopoulos that BP has not given them a lot of information.
"None of us know, we're all on the fence here," local resident Buggy Vegas said.
"I just think the government has to put stricter regulations, BP can't run middle management, middle manage has to run BP. BP can't run the coast guard, the coast guard has got to run BP," Dean Blanchard, a seafood processor, said. "That's where the problem is at, it looks like BP is running everything."
But through the uncertainty these residents still hold onto hope.