Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said Wednesday that “every hour, we are getting closer” to arresting a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings that killed three and injured more than 170.
“I say that because we’ve got the very best professionals at every level working this — and working it hard,” Patrick told Wolf Blitzer on CNN. “They are committed to finding the person or persons responsible for this and bringing them to justice.”
Patrick’s remarks came on a day of much confusion as to whether a suspect had been arrested in the bombings.
A police official late Wednesday told The Boston Globe that authorities have an image of a suspect carrying — and perhaps dropping — a black bag at the second bombing location not far from the first along the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
While a number of news organizations reported that a person had been taken into custody, 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 reported by the Globe.
The FBI, which is leading the investigation, had also asked the media to “exercise caution” and to check with officials before reporting information, according to the Globe.
And security officials re-opened Boston’s federal courthouse to employees Wednesday afternoon after an hour-long evacuation tied to a security scare, according to Reuters.
“There’s been a lot of chaos and a lot of misinformation floating around,” Patrick told CNN. “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.”
The governor declined to provide specifics — he said he had not seen any video or photographs of the crime scene — but said that investigators were working the case “in a very methodical way, a very through way.
“It’s several blocks over there that they are covering a square inch at a time and piecing the story together,” Patrick said. “They are working cooperatively, under the direction of the FBI.”
According to the FBI, the two bombs that exploded were fashioned from pressure cookers and packed with metal shards, nails, and ball-bearings to inflict maximum carnage.
FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard DesLauriers said that pieces of black nylon and fragments of ball-bearings and nails were recovered, and that authorities believe the bombs were placed in dark-colored backpacks or bags.
Investigators found a circuit board at the scene on Tuesday they believe was used to detonate the bombs through a timer. The explosives, placed on the ground within 100 feet of each other, were set off about 12 seconds apart about 2:50 p.m. Monday, authorities said.
The lid of one of the pressure cookers was found on the roof of a nearby building, according to news reports.
Meanwhile, Fagor America, a manufacturer of pressure cookers based in Lyndhurst, N.J., told the Globe on Wednesday it had been “contacted by government investigators and are extending our full cooperation.”
Among the more than 170 injured, as many as 100 had been released from local hospitals by Wednesday.
The three who died in the bombings were: 8-year-old Martin Richard of Dorchester; Krystle Campbell, 29, of Arlington, Mass.; and Lingzu Lu, 23, a graduate student in statistics at Boston University from Shenyang, China, whose name was released Wednesday.
In his CNN interview, Patrick asked the public for patience.
“This is going to take some time — a lot of time, particularly given that there hasn’t been an individual or group that’s claimed responsibility.
“The things we need from the public are patience — patience at a time when we are impatient for an answer,” he said. “We need vigilance, which is enormously important — that people keep an eye out for suspicious activity or parcels and let law enforcement know about that — and understanding that not everything at every minute of the investigation can be disclosed, because some of that might compromise the investigation.”
Patrick said it is “like finding a needle in a haystack. I’m so impressed by the thoroughness of [the investigators’] work, I’m pretty sure they’ll find that needle.”
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