Update: Marathon bombing suspect reportedly identified

Law enforcement officials plan a 5 p.m. news conference

A suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing on Monday has reportedly been identified, according to numerous news agencies.

CNN was the first to report that a suspect had been identified in the bombing, which killed three people and left more than 170 people injured. CNN initially reported someone had been arrested but later backed off that report.

An FBI spokeswoman in Washington, D.C. told a Computerworld reporter at 2:20 p.m. ET, that no arrests have yet been made in the case.

Law enforcement officials now plan a 5 p.m. news conference. That press event had originally been scheduled for early this afternoon.

According to CNN, surveillance video from a local Lord & Taylor store and video from a local Boston TV station were critical to identifying a suspect. Video forensics were expected to play a major role in the investigation.

According to reports by CNN, the Boston Globe and other media outlets, video footage from a security camera at the Lord & Taylors store on Boylston Street showed an individual dropping off a backpack just outside the Forum restaurant near the bombing site.

The footage apparently provided the clearest images yet of what may well be a suspect in the bombings, according to the reports that quoted unnamed federal and local law enforcement sources.

Another set of images that may have helped identify a suspect appears to have come from WHDH 7 News, which said it had submitted to the FBI images it received from a viewer showing events just before and after the second bomb went off. According to the station, the images it obtained show what may have been one of the bombs concealed in a backpack placed near a mailbox at the blast site.

One picture, taken just before the blast, shows the backpack resting against a barricade along the marathon route, according to the station. The next image, taken immediately after the blast, shows no sign of the bag, the station said.

A source told CBS that the suspect was identified through the use of cell phone tower logs.

Earlier, investigators had disclosed that the bombs were made from pressure cookers packed with an explosive material as well as pellets and nails to maximize casualties. The bombs were apparently concealed in nylon backpacks left at the scene of the explosions.

In the hours following the explosion, federal and local law enforcement officials called on people who had been at the event to submit video images and still photos from their smartphones and digital cameras to assist in the search for those responsible for the blasts.

The city of Vancouver, British Columbia conducted a similar forensic analysis on crowdsourced video and photos to identify more than 200 people who were involved in a riot in the city in June 2011.

Investigators were also expected to comb various social networking sites for any potential clues.

With reports by Matt Hamblen.


Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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