Update 6:48 p.m.: About one hour after holding a news conference to release video and images of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, authorities have posible leads on the supects' names, according to Steve Bognar of WBZ-TV in Boston. The development has not been verified by other sources.
The FBI released photos of two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings Thursday afternoon, and urged anyone who can identify the men to come forward.
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Richard DesLauriers, FBI special agent in charge for Boston, identified the men only as “Suspect 1” and “Suspect 2.” Suspect 1 was wearing a dark cap while Suspect 2 was shown wearing a white cap, backwards, and set down a backpack at the site of the second explosion in front of the Forum restaurant on Boylston Street, the FBI said. The suspects are considered “armed and dangerous.”
DesLauriers encouraged anyone who was near the restaurant at the time of the explosion to contact the FBI.
He said both suspects “appear to be walking together to the marathon crowd on Boylston Street near Gloucester Street.”
DesLauriers said the public’s help will be crucial to the investigation and apprehension of the suspects. He said the two men are the only persons of interest in the case for now.
“For more than 100 years, the FBI has relied upon the public for its eyes and ears,” he said. “We know the public will play a critical role in locating these individuals.
“No bit of information, no matter how small or unseemingly inconsequential, is too small for us to see,” he added.
Should anyone encounter the suspects, they should call authorities, DesLauriers said.
“We consider [the suspects] to be armed and extremely dangerous; no one should approach them, no one should attempt to apprehend them except for law enforcement,” he said.
Anyone with information on the suspects were told to call 1-800-CALL-FBI or submit tips to bostonmarathontips.fbi.gov.
The revelations of the suspects came after a frantic day Wednesday, when CNN and the Associated Press had to retract reports that a suspect was in custody. The FBI put out a statement later in the day reiterating that no arrests had been made in the case.
The explosions killed three people: Martin Richard, 8, of Boston; Krystle Campbell, 29, of Arlington, Mass.; and Boston University graduate student Lingzi Lu of China. More than 180 people were injured in the blasts; many of them lost limbs in the attacks.
A pair of bombs detonated 18 seconds apart near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in Copley Square. Investigators determined that the bombs were housed in pressure cookers and contained nails and BBs.
DesLaurier said when the FBI began its investigation Monday, it discovered one person of interest. Further review of evidence led them to the second suspect.
He said there's someone out there who knows something about the suspects, saying they could be friends, neighbors, or co-workers of the two men sought by the FBI.
Thursday's news conference was the first time in 48 hours that the FBI publicly divulged information related to the case. A news conference scheduled for 5 p.m. Wednesday was postponed after a bomb threat was called into Boston federal court.
Earlier, DesLauriers urged anyone who came into contact with individuals mentioning targeting the marathon or the date April 15 to contact the FBI. He also said the bureau was interested in anyone who heard loud sounds in remote areas in the days before the bombings, which could have been an indication of bombs being tested.