One of two bombs exploding at Boston Marathon
BOSTON -- Investigators are exploring a number of promising leads in the Boston Marathon bombing case, including an image of a man believed possibly involved in one of Monday's twin explosions that killed three people and injured 176.
WATCH LIVE CONTINUING COVERAGE OF BOSTON MARATHON BOMBINGS
PHOTOS | Searching for a suspect in Boston bombing
A federal law enforcement official told USA TODAY Wednesday that the
image, captured by surveillance cameras in the area of one of the bomb
sites, shows a man putting down a bag near one of the bomb sites. The
bag appears to be similar to the black nylon pack described earlier as
possibly used to carry the explosive devices, officials who have been
briefed on the inquiry told USA TODAY.
Authorities were working to identify the individual in surveillance
video obtained from a nearby Lord & Taylor department store, as well
as a number of other people in video and photographs near the site of
the explosions. More than 70 people remain hospitalized, with 14 listed
in critical condition.
The leads emerged during a chaotic day in
which federal authorities dismissed a flurry of media reports, including
dispatches from the Associated Press and CNN broadcasts, that a suspect
had been taken into custody.
"Contrary to widespread reporting,
there have been no arrests made in connection with the Boston Marathon
attack,'' the FBI said in a statement.
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The events in Boston
included an evacuation at the federal courthouse sending streams of
people into the street just two days after the explosions ripped through
crowds near the finish line of Monday's iconic sporting event.
Courthouse employees returned late Wednesday afternoon after authorities
conducted a security sweep.
The FBI also announced the arrest of
Paul Kevin Curtis of Corinth, Miss., in connection with a separate
inquiry into a series of suspicious letters addressed to federal
lawmakers and President Obama. Preliminarily tests had indicated the
letters tested positive for the ricin; the mail was undergoing
additional examination for more conclusive testing.
Federal law enforcement officials don't believe the two investigations - the tainted mail and the Boston bombings - are related.
Meanwhile, as investigators
painstakingly gathered fragments of evidence from the bomb sites, a lid
was recovered from a pressure cooker believed used as one of the
explosive devices, a federal law enforcement official said.
official who had been briefed on the matter but was not authorized to
comment publicly told USA TODAY the lid was found on a roof near the
The discovery came Wednesday as the head of
the Department of Homeland Security told a Senate panel in Washington
that the Coast Guard worked with the Boston Police Department after
Monday's bombings to guard against any potential water-borne attack from
Boston Harbor or the Charles River.
Homeland Security Secretary
Janet Napolitano said officials continue to investigate the bombing with
the FBI as a solitary act of terror.
"There is no current indication to suggest the attack was indicative
of a broader plot," Napolitano told the Senate Homeland Security and
Governmental Affairs Committee on Wednsesday. "But out of an abundance
of caution, we continue to keep in place enhanced security measures,
both seen and unseen."
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Peter Burke, chief trauma surgeon at Boston
Medical Center, said two of the 19 patients there still being treated
remain in critical condition, including a 5-year-old boy. All are
expected to survive, he said.
Burke said patients who required
amputations or who lost limbs are now entering the second phase of their
recovery, which is making sure that infection does not set in.
"They get injured very quickly, but it takes a long time for people to get better," he said.
investigators from ATF, FBI and other federal agencies wearing
protective suits continued to scour the crime scene Wednesday. Evidence
trucks and mobile labs filled Exeter Street, the side street off
Boylston closest to the blast sites.
The amount of gunpowder used
in the bombings is believed to be a fraction of the overall weight of
the devices, estimated to weigh about 20 pounds each, a law enforcement
official said Wednesday.
Much of the weight was attributed to the
pressure-cooker container and a mix of shrapnel - BB pellets and nail
fragments - that cut a deadly path through the crowds gathered near the
race finish line, said the official who is not authorized to speak
The official said the components of the bomb - common
kitchen pressure cookers, wire, batteries and gunpowder - are so widely
available that barring the assistance of an informant or a telling photo
from the crime scene, it will likely take investigators some time to
determine where the materials were obtained and who acquired them.
is either quick or it's not,'' the official said, referring to the
identification of possible suspects, "and right now it's looking like
At the same time, the official said, bomb technicians will
likely be able to reconstruct much of the entire device, from both
pieces recovered from the scene and the collective knowledge of
investigators who have encountered similar devices in past
"They are going to be able to figure out how this
device was acquired,'' the official said. "Depending on the trade craft
involved, they will be able to do it relatively easily.''
FBI chief Richard DesLauriers said the recovered materials were being
examined at the FBI's laboratory in Quantico, Va., where the bureau has
assembled a clearinghouse of improvised explosive devices recovered from
such places as the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan and crime
scenes around the country. Some evidence will undergo an expedited
analysis, FBI spokesman Special Agent Jason Pack said.
The scene of the explosions is strewn with shredded T-shirts, metal
fragments and glass shards. Boston Police and National Guard soldiers
guard every access point, but from the side streets, spectators have
watched the investigators at work.
The ATF's evidence recovery
experts have found blast debris on rooftops and embedded in nearby
buildings, acting ATF Special Agent Eugenio Marquez said.
"It gives the scope of the power of the blast," Marquez said.
latest discoveries came as investigators appealed to the public for
videos and photos of the scene in hopes of getting an image of the
person or persons who left the explosive devices near the finish line of
Authorities have yet to determine the motive for the bombings and are urging anyone with tips to come forward with information.
"The person who did this was someone's friend, co-worker or neighbor," DesLauriers said. "Somebody knows who did this."
No one has claimed responsibility for the explosions and "the range of suspects and motives remain wide open."
at a Northern California battery company said they believe a battery
they manufacture was used in the Boston Marathon bombing.
Mull, spokesman for Fremont-based Tenergy Corp., said that based on
crime scene photos that have appeared online, the company believes one
of its nickel-metal hydride batteries was used to make the bombs that
detonated Monday near the marathon's finish line.
"We're all horrified and appalled that our off-the-shelf product would be used in such a horrific way," Mull said.
The company has reached out to Boston police and the FBI but hasn't heard directly from investigators, Mull said.
company says the 1.25-volt battery seen in the photos is sold in retail
outlets and is frequently used by hobbyists for various toys, including
radio-controlled cars and trucks.
Tenergy has been selling the
battery for several years and said it has sold "tens of thousands" of
the particular battery in the past year.
Meanwhile, the blast's
third fatality as Lu Lingzi, a Chinese national and graduate student
Boston University. Lu, who previously studied international trade at
Beijing Institute of Technology, was studying statistics at BU,
according to her Facebook page and media reports.
The other two victims were Martin Richard, 8, of Dorchester, and Krystle Campbell, 29, of Medford, Mass.
Chinese Consulate in New York said in a statement Tuesday that another
Chinese citizen was wounded and was in stable condition following