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A Confusing Day In Boston Marathon Bombing Investigation

Investigators want to talk to a man seen in a video tape putting a backpack down on the ground in the area where a bomb went off on Monday at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

Investigators stand at the scene of twin bombings at the Boston Marathon
Investigators stand at the scene of twin bombings at the Boston Marathon (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

It was part of a confusing day in the investigation that included word of “significant progress” in the investigation, a possible arrest and an on-again, off-again briefing with the FBI.

Boston City Council President Stephen Murphy said Wednesday investigators saw the image on surveillance footage they got from a nearby Lord & Taylor department store. He says he doesn’t know if investigators have identified the man.

Murphy says police officers involved in the probe say investigators have matched information from the surveillance footage with witness descriptions of someone leaving the scene.

Murphy says officers are chasing leads that could take them to the man. He says developing that information within the first 48 hours of the probe is a major breakthrough.

Massachusetts Governor Duval Patrick (D) told CNN that there are no suspects in custody or under arrest. He would not comment on reports that law enforcement has a name and described the investigation “methodical.”

Conflicting Information About An Arrest

Federal courthouse in Boston
Federal courthouse in Boston (WBZ TV)

Federal officials deny they arrested a suspect in connection with the bombing.  CNN and the Associated Press reported an arrest in the bombing.  CNN explained that “a federal law enforcement source” told them of the arrest.


Two senior administration officials and another federal official told them there had been a “misunderstanding” and no one had been arrested.

As word spread of a possible arrest crowds gathered around the Moakley Federal Courthouse located near Boston’s South Station where security is very tight.

Crowds and the media were moved across the street and then to a parking lot. A reporter for WBZ TV who had been inside said a bomb threat had been called in to the courthouse.

 A federal marshal stands outside the John Joseph Moakley Courthouse following a "code red"
A federal marshal stands outside the John Joseph Moakley Courthouse following a “code red” bomb threat (Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

Everyone inside the courthouse evacuate as several SUVs and vans plus the  Boston Police bomb squad arrived.

The FBI in a statement said “Contrary to widespread reporting, there have been no arrests made in connection with the Boston Marathon attack.”

“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” cautioned the FBI in a second statement. “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,” said the

However,  the official who spoke to The Associated Press did so on condition of anonymity and stood by the information even after it was disputed.


Clues Lead To A Suspect

Investigators used cell phone records to identify the suspect according to CBS News. Surveillance video captured a man talking on a telephone and putting a backpack on the ground as the first bomb went off.

Law enforcement believes the suspect is not part of an outside organization according to WCVB TV.

CNN reported earlier that video from a nearby Lord & Taylor department store and a  television station was helpful in identifying a “dark skinned male” as a possible suspect. The one suspect placed both bombs along Boylston Street in Boston’s Back Bay section at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday.

There is no word on where and when the suspect was found.

President Obama and first lady Michele Obama are scheduled to be in Boston on Thursday for a n interfaith church service at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.

FULL COVERAGE: Boston Marathon Bombing

The Associated Press contributed to this story

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