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April 18, 2013

FBI_official_photos-02The FBI is now sharing the photos with the public but the New York Post ran several photos that they linked to the investigation Thursday.

In the photos being distributed by law-enforcement officials, one of the men is carrying a blue duffel bag. The other is wearing a black backpack in the first photo, taken at 10:53 a.m., but it is not visible in the second, taken at 12:30 p.m, the Post reported.

“The attached photos are being circulated in an attempt to identify the individuals highlighted therein,” said an e-mail obtained by The Post. “Feel free to pass this around to any of your fellow agents elsewhere.”

Authorities know the names of the two men, but do not have enough evidence to make an arrest for Monday’s attack, which killed three and wounded 176, sources told the Post.

Fox said a reporter for the network had seen the photos and called them “clear.”

An unidentified Boston politician told The Associated Press Wednesday that investigators are seeking a man seen in a department store surveillance video dropping off a bag at the site of the bombings while a law-enforcement official confirmed that authorities have found an image of a potential suspect but they do not yet know his name.

It is not known whether the suspects in any of these instances are linked, according to news reports.

Meanwhile, Boston City Council President Stephen Murphy, who said he was briefed by local police, told the AP that investigators saw the image on surveillance footage they received from the Lord & Taylor department store near the finish line and matched the findings with witness descriptions of a person leaving the scene.

“I know it’s very active and very fluid right now — that they are on the chase,” Murphy told the AP. He added: “They may be on the verge of arresting someone, and that’s good.”

The department store video “has confirmed that a suspect is seen dropping a bag near the point of the second explosion and heading off,” Murphy said.

And in another development, investigators are exploring whether the bombs were assembled not far from the scene of the explosions — since transporting such improvised devices over any significant distance could trigger a premature detonation, The Wall Street Journal reports.

FBI agents and local police are canvassing Boston hotels and short-term rentals for clues on where the bombs could have been constructed, a law-enforcement official told The Journal.

The federal agency, with the assistance of U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel, have been scrutinizing passenger lists from flights that had recently arrived at Boston’s Logan Airport for clues, the official said.

Investigators spent Wednesday poring over photos and video footage and piecing together shredded remnants of bombs looking for possible suspects. Monday’s attacks near the finish line of the Boston Marathon killed three and injured more than 170, many critically.

The developments came also amid much confusion as to whether a suspect had been arrested.

A number of news organizations reported that a person had been taken into custody, but the U.S. attorney’s office, the FBI, and Boston police insisted that no arrest had been made.

“Despite reports to the contrary, there has not been an arrest in the Marathon attack,” Boston police reported on Twitter about 2:40 p.m. Wednesday.

“Contrary to widespread reporting, no arrest has been made in connection with the Boston Marathon attack,” the FBI said in a statement later Wednesday afternoon.

“There’s been a lot of chaos and a lot of misinformation floating around,” Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick told CNN in an interview. “There has not been an arrest. There is no one in custody, but the investigation continues to unfold and they’re making progress. It’s going to take some time.”

As of late Wednesday, no arrests had been made — and more than 100 of the victims had been released from local hospitals.

At least 14 bombing victims remained in critical condition, and officials at three hospitals that treated some of the most seriously injured said they expected all their remaining patients to survive, the AP reports.

The three who died in the bombings were: 8-year-old Martin Richard of Dorchester, Mass.; Krystle Campbell, 29, of Arlington, Mass.; and Lingzu Lu, 23, a graduate student in statistics at Boston University from Shenyang, China.

According to authorities, a mangled pressure cooker lid found on the roof of a nearby building is believed to have been part of one bomb. It and other pieces were being analyzed at an FBI lab, Fox reports.

A battery and several pieces of shrapnel also were recovered and undergoing analysis.

A circuit board found at the scene on Tuesday is suspected of being used to detonate at least one of the bombs — and the FBI was also analyzing cellphone tower records to identify positive hits for signs of calls that may have been placed to trigger both explosions remotely.

In addition, FBI and Department of Homeland Security officials said that the shrapnel that caused the three deaths — and critical injuries to as many as 17 others — included nails, BBs and ball bearings.

The other device “was also housed in a metal container,” but investigators could not say if that was also a pressure cooker, Fox reports.

Pressure cooker bombs have been used in high-profile bombings in India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan — and they have been touted by al-Qaida in Yemen’s online magazine Inspire and in the “The Anarchist Cookbook.”

The explosions occurred within about 12 seconds of each other — and about 100 feet apart — around 2:50 p.m. near the finish line of the 26.2-mile Boston Marathon. Nearly 25,000 people competed in the celebrated race.

Richard DesLauriers, FBI agent in charge in Boston, confirmed that investigators had found pieces of black nylon from a bag or backpack and fragments of BBs and nails, possibly contained in a pressure cooker. The items were sent to the FBI laboratory at Quantico, Va., for analysis, Fox reports.

The FBI also plans to reconstruct the devices at their headquarters in Quantico, according to MyFoxBoston.com.

And Fagor America, a manufacturer of pressure cookers based in Lyndhurst, N.J., told The Boston Globe on Wednesday it had been “contacted by government investigators and are extending our full cooperation.”

President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama — as well 2012 GOP presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney — will be in Boston on Thursday for an interfaith service to honor the victims.

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