INVESTIGATORS have a “clear” video recording of a suspect with a bag containing one of the bombs that killed three people and injured more than 180 at the Boston marathon, according to a US law enforcement source.
• Third victim of bombing named as 23-year-old Chinese student Lu Lingzi
• Other victims of bombing named as Martin Richard, 8, and restaurant manager Krystle Campbell, 29
• Police confirm apartment searched in Massachusetts in relation to bombings
The “significant progress” in the case, which was expected to be confirmed at a formal press conference, came from FBI analysis of CCTV footage retrieved from the Lord & Taylor department store in Boylston Street, the scene of the blasts, the source said.
The mangled lid of a pressure cooker that the FBI believes was used to make at least one of the two bombs was found on a nearby rooftop yesterday.
Together with a circuit board, wires and other smaller pieces, the cooker lid will be used by forensic experts to try to reconstruct the shrapnel-packed bomb and provide clues to the identity of its makers.
The breakthroughs came as Boston prepared for today’s visit by president Barack Obama, who has condemned the bombing as “a cowardly and heinous attack”.
Mr Obama and his wife, Michelle, will attend a multi-faith service this morning to promote healing and honour the victims: an eight-year-old boy and two women in their twenties, all killed as they watched the final stages of the marathon.
The president hosted a briefing by homeland security officials at the White House yesterday, at which he was advised of developments in the burgeoning criminal investigation.
John Kerry, the US secretary of state, said earlier there was still no clear indication of the origin of the terrorists or their bombs, which were packed with ball bearings and nails.
“Whether it’s homegrown, or foreign, we just don’t know yet. I’m not going to contribute to any speculation on that,” he told the members of the foreign
affairs committee of the House of Representatives.
Medical officials revealed that more than 100 of the 183 runners and spectators taken to hospital with injuries from the bombing had been released.
Dr Peter Burke, the head of trauma surgery at the Boston Medical Centre, said 19 patients remained at his hospital, two in a critical condition – a five-year-old boy and a man in his sixties.
“This particular event was very much focused on the lower extremities, it seems. I think the damage was low to the ground and wasn’t up. The patients who do have head injuries were blown into things or were hit by fragments that went up,” he said.
Other area hospitals reported a similar picture. Eleven of 24 victims were released from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre, while Boston Children’s Hospital still had three of its original ten patients. Doctors said a two-year-old boy with a head injury was in good condition, while a ten-year-old boy and a nine-year-old girl were critical with leg injuries.
Tufts Medical Centre released half its 14 patients and 27 were sent home from St Elizabeth’s, Carney and Norwood hospitals.
FBI officials, who believe the bombs were placed in duffel bags or backpacks, have appealed for the public to submit any video or still images they may have recorded in the hours and minutes before the bombs went off, 12 seconds and several hundred yards apart.
More than 2,000 photographs have been sent in for analysis by experts from FBI headquarters in Quantico, Virginia, where the recovered pieces of the bombs will come under scrutiny.
Hundreds of investigators, including FBI agents and at least 30 from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have been assigned to the case.
Third victim named as Lu Lingzi
The third person killed in the marathon bombings was a Chinese graduate student at Boston University, who was originally from China’s north-eastern city of Shenyang, it was reported yesterday.
The Shenyang Evening News said on its official microblog account that the victim’s name was Lu Lingzi. An editor said Ms Lu’s father had confirmed his daughter’s death.
The Chinese foreign ministry and consulate general in New York are not releasing the victim’s name at the request of the family. But yesterday Boston media quoted a Chinese consulate general official as saying Ms Lu was missing.
Meanwhile, Bill Richard spoke of his heartache after his eight-year-old son was killed and daughter and wife seriously injured. Martin died as he waited with his mother and two siblings to watch his father cross the finish line.
Mr Richard said: “We thank our family and friends, those we know and those we have never met, for their thoughts and prayers.”
Obama letter ‘suspicious’
A letter addressed to president Barack Obama that contained a “suspicious substance” has been intercepted by the United States secret service.
A spokesman said yesterday that the letter was picked up away from the White House on Tuesday.
The letter came a day after another was sent to a US senator and it tested positive for the poison ricin.
Tensions have been high in Washington DC and across the US since the bombings at the Boston marathon.