After an afternoon in which many in the media incorrectly reported an arrest in Monday’s deadly Boston Marathon bombing, investigators acknowledged Wednesday that authorities have captured a video image of a possible suspect from a surveillance camera at a Lord & Taylor department store and TV footage.
CNN and The Boston Globe initially reported in the early afternoon that a suspect had been taken into custody — with other media quickly following suit — but the news outlets later backtracked to say only that a suspect had been identified.
The FBI scolded the media for its reporting efforts, saying that “contrary to widespread reporting, there have been no arrests made in connection with the Boston Marathon attack.”
In a statement, the FBI said: “Over the past day and a half, there have been a number of press reports based on information from unofficial sources that has been inaccurate. Since these stories often have unintended consequences, we ask the media, particularly at this early stage of the investigation, to exercise caution and attempt to verify information through appropriate official channels before reporting.”
Federal, state and local law enforcement authorities who have scoured the bomb blast sites found pieces of an electronic circuit board possibly indicating a timer was used in the detonation of at least one of the bombs. They also found the lid of one pressure cooker on the rooftop of an adjoining building.
The possible suspect was said to be wearing a white baseball cap turned backward and a light-colored hooded sweatshirt and a black jacket.
Meanwhile, a task force of federal, state and local law enforcement officials pored over photos and video footage and pieced together shredded remnants of bombs in an effort to zero in on suspects behind Monday’s terror attack. The Lord & Taylor viodeo purports to show a young man dropping a heavy black bag at the site of the second bombing.
The blasts occurred shortly before 3 p.m. Monday near the finish line on Boylston Street, transforming a prized Boston tradition into a gruesome scene. Doctors said they had to amputate limbs and pull metal shards from the injured.
Investigators say the perpetrator used a pair of pressure cookers filled with metal pieces such as ball bearings and nails to inflict the carnage. The victims who died have been identified as Martin Richard,8; Krystle Campbell, 29; and Lu Lingzi, of China, who had been studying mathematics and statistics as a graduate student at Boston University.
Ms. Lu had not been identified as the third victim to be killed in the attacks until Wednesday afternoon. The university posted a statement on its website saying she was with two friends watching the race near the finish line.
It was a video surveillance camera at a Lord & Taylor department store that showed a suspect with a backpack near the marathon finish line, authorities said. The store is between the sites of the two explosions.
Many of those injured by the blasts remained in hospitals Wednesday, some with critical injuries. Doctors who treated the wounded said the bombs were packed with shrapnel intended to cause mayhem.
An FBI bulletin issued to police agencies included a picture of a badly-damaged pressure cooker and torn black bag the bureau said were part of one bomb that exploded along the marathon route. The bulletin, a copy of which was first obtained by The Associated Press, features a blue-gloved hand holding a badly damaged metal container about the size of a large canteen.
Law enforcement authorities think both bombs that were detonated along the marathon route were stuffed in pressure cookers, each filled with shrapnel including nails and ball bearings. Pressure cookers filled with explosives have been used in the past to amplify the damage from the explosions by briefly constraining the blast.
Similar pressure-cooker explosives have been used in Afghanistan, India, Nepal and Pakistan, according to a July 2010 intelligence report by the FBI and Homeland Security. Also, one of the three devices used in the May 2010 Times Square attempted bombing was a pressure cooker, the report said.