Update as of 4: 17 a.m. EDT: Thai police said Friday that a man, who was described as the main suspect in the Aug. 17 bombing at the Erawan Shrine, is a conspirator, the Associated Press reported.
National police spokesman Prawut Thavornsiri reportedly said that it was unlikely that the suspect was the man in a yellow T-shirt, who is believed to have planted the bomb in a backpack at the shrine.
DNA samples taken from the suspect, who was arrested near Thailand’s border with Cambodia Tuesday, did not match the sample found on evidence believed to have been left behind in a taxi that the bomber used to escape after planting the bomb, Prawut reportedly said.
However, authorities believe that the suspect in custody was involved in the bombing as his DNA was found in two apartments on the outskirts of Bangkok that were raided by police over the weekend. Police had found bomb-making materials in both the apartments.
Thai authorities on Friday unveiled the repaired centerpiece of the Erawan Shrine in Bangkok that was damaged in the Aug. 17 bombing, which killed 20 people and injured over 100. Investigators have rapidly moved the probe into the blast that took place at one of the most popular tourist attractions in the capital, but are yet to determine a motive.
The shrine’s golden statue of the Hindu god Brahma was repaired in 12 areas and unveiled at a religious ceremony, which was intended to "create confidence and raise the morale of [Thai] people and tourists,” Minister of Culture Vira Rojpojchanarat reportedly said.
Tourism and business in the Southeast Asian country have been hit by the deadly attack.
"The most important issue for the country's image is to restore confidence about safety," Vira told reporters at Friday's ceremony, according to the Associated Press (AP). “Every day the police and national security are making progress on the case.”
Thai police have made several arrests in connection to the case and identified some of the suspects believed to be part of a network that carried out the attack. However, authorities have not termed the attack as an act of terrorism, fearing it would hurt the country’s image, according to the AP.
On Thursday, Thai authorities suggested that at least two of the nine suspects were possibly Turkish. However, the Turkish Embassy in Bangkok issued a statement saying that it had not received any notification from Thai officials about the nationalities of the suspects. According to reports, the bombing may have been carried out by a group seeking to avenge Thailand’s forced deportation of Uighurs -- a Turkic-speaking Muslim ethnic minority from China's northwestern province of Xinjiang -- in July.
The Thai police carried out raids in Bangkok over the last few days, two of which yielded concrete leads to the bombing. During two raids on homes on the outskirts of the capital, police found bomb-making materials. At a third raid on Thursday, authorities found "suspicious fluid in a barrel" that was being analyzed by explosive experts, national police spokesman Prawut Thavornsiri reportedly said.
Authorities have also confirmed that the main suspect of the bombing is in police custody and faces charges of possessing unauthorized explosives after his fingerprints matched on Wednesday with those found on a bottle of bomb-making material recovered from an apartment that was raided over the weekend.
Police have also found a Uighur link to the main suspect after a Chinese passport was recovered from him that indicated he was from the western Chinese region of Xinjiang, but its authenticity is yet to be determined, Prawut reportedly said Thursday.
Thai police have issued arrest warrants for a Thai woman, Wanna Suansan, and her husband, a Turkish man, identified as Emrah Davutoglu, both of whom are believed to be in Turkey. Wanna reportedly said in interviews with Thai media that she was innocent.
Despite links leading to Turkish involvement, Thai authorities have been careful of not connecting the case to Uighurs.
"We have agreed already that I won't mention the name of a country, the name of a group or their religion. Please allow me to say that it is a network, and let's wait and see which group it is," Prawut said Thursday, according to the AP.