BOSTON — No one has been arrested in connection with the Boston Marathon bombings, local police and federal authorities said Wednesday after a spate of media reports indicated that someone was in custody.
Two possible suspects in the bombings have been singled out in surveillance videos of the scene, sources told the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday.
(The Boston Globe, CBS News and others, also citing sources, said only one possible suspect was seen on a video near the scene.)
U.S. counter-terrorism and law enforcement officials told The Los Angeles Times that a department store video caught images of one man leaving a backpack near the finish line. A second federal official said he has been told that authorities believe a second video or photo showed “two men with two backpacks.”
A counter-terrorism official said the men were picked out because they were carrying black backpacks, as well as because of their demeanor and how they reacted to the bomb blasts. That official said authorities do not yet know the identities of those in the videos.
Adding to the confusion Wednesday was that officials in Boston scheduled, rescheduled, and eventually canceled an FBI briefing intended to update the public.
According to The Boston Globe, the Globe’s source said a surveillance camera at Lord & Taylor, located directly across the street, had provided clear video of the area, though it was unclear whether the image of one possible suspect was taken from that camera.
“The camera from Lord & Taylor is the best source of video so far,” confirmed Dot Joyce, a spokeswoman for Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino. “All I know is that they are making progress.”
The Boston police were the first to puncture the earlier media reports of an arrest with a tweet: “Despite reports to the contrary there has not been an arrest in the Marathon attack.”
That was quickly followed by a formal statement from the FBI:
“Contrary to widespread reporting, there have been no arrests made in connection with the Boston Marathon attack,” the FBI said.
“Over the past day and a half, there have been a number of press reports based on information from unofficial sources that has been inaccurate. Since these stories often have unintended consequences, we ask the media, particularly at this early stage of the investigation, to exercise caution and attempt to verify information through appropriate official channels before reporting,” the FBI said.
Meanwhile, the third person killed in the Boston Marathon bombings Monday was formally identified Wednesday as Boston University graduate student Lingzi Lu, who was from China’s northeastern city of Shenyang. According to BU Today, Lu was a graduate student in mathematics and statistics and was one of three friends who watched the race near the finish line.
By Ken Dilanian, Molly Hennessy-Fiske and Michael Muskal / Los Angeles Times