BOSTON—Boston law enforcement officials say the city’s downtown core will continue to be processed as a crime scene for at least several more days, with 30 explosives expert either on scene or en route to the city Tuesday morning.
On mobile? Click here to read our live blogOn mobile? Click here to read our live blog
Speaking to reporters alongside representatives from the FBI, the Department of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, the fire department and other agencies, Timothy Alben, superintendent of Massachusetts State Police, said there were 176 confirmed casualties injured when two bombs exploded during the Boston Marathon on Monday.
Three people have died, including an 8-year-old boy, and others remain in critical condition.
A person briefed on the investigation says the explosives were in 6-litre pressure cookers and placed in black duffel bags.
The person says the explosives were placed on the ground and contained shards of metal, nails and ball bearings. The person spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing.
The person says law enforcement officials have some of the bomb components but did not yet know what was used to set off the explosives.
President Barack Obama said Tuesday morning the explosions were being investigated as an “act of terror,” although authorities still did not know who is responsible.
He called the bombing “a heinous and cowardly act” used to target innocent civilians.
Obama spoke to reporters at the White House after a briefing by his national security team.
Rick Deslauriers, who heads the FBI office in Boston, said his agents are following up tips and other leads, and interviewing a number of witnesses.
He refused to say whether police have anyone in custody or are guarding a patient at a local hospital, as was reported Monday by several local news stations.
“This is a worldwide investigation,” said Deslauriers. “We will go to the ends of the Earth.”
Police are analyzing closed circuit camera footage taken near the scene and have repeatedly asked the public to hand over video footage and photos taken around the time of the explosion near the crime scene.
It’s unclear how a perpetrator could have planted the bombs, which one official said were not hidden in trash bins. Alben said police conducted a sweep of the finish-line about an hour before the race started.
Meanwhile, downtown Boston was a ghost town Tuesday morning. Streets remained cordoned off, while military humvees were parked on street corners, and soldiers and police patrolled streets and alleys.
Bomb squad and tactical response SUVs were the only vehicles navigating the streets, sirens blaring and lights flashing.
Discarded drinking cups and litter were left in place, waiting to be analyzed at what had become a 13 square block crime scene. A three-and-a-half mile no fly zone remained in place over Boston for aircraft flying under 3,000 feet.
Michael Butcher was 15 metres away from Monday’s bomb blasts.
“I had a hard time breathing, I could really feel it in my chest,” said Butcher, whose wife Kelly was competing. “After the first one, a few people actually started moving toward the blast to help the injured. Then the second one happened and everyone was realizing we have to get out of here.”
It took the Atlanta couple about an hour to find one another.
“I didn’t know where she was, or if she was okay,” Butcher said. “My kids were at home freaking out. Then we just found each other wandering in the street.”
“After running 25 miles I had marathon brain, fuzzy thinking,” Kelly Butcher said. “I didn’t really know what had happened until my husband told me.”
Federal investigators said Tuesday morning that no one had claimed responsibility for the bombings one of the city’s most famous civic holidays, Patriots Day, according to The Associated Press. But the blasts among the throngs of spectators raised fears of a terrorist attack.
More from thestar.com:
Victim, 8, ‘beloved’ in the community
Toronto runners caught in Boston Marathon tragedy
PHOTOS: Explosions at Boston Marathon
Massachusetts State Police investigating the marathon bombing searched an apartment just outside Boston, in Revere. Officers were seen leaving with bags full of material. There’s no word of any suspects or motive in the attack. (April 16, 2013)
‘We don’t yet have all the answers,’ Obama says after Boston explosions
Kelly: Boston Marathon attack fundamentally alters sporting landscape
Boston Marathon explosions put world’s cities on alert
Massachusetts Gov personal loans for bad credit. Deval Patrick said Tuesday that no unexploded bombs had been found at the Boston Marathon. He said the only explosives were the ones that went off Monday.
FBI agents searched a suburban Boston apartment overnight and appealed to the public for amateur video and photos that might yield clues to who carried out the Boston Marathon bombing, while a doctor treating the wounded said one of the victims was maimed by what looked like ball bearings or BBs, according to The Associated Press.
President Barack Obama was careful not to use the words “terror” or “terrorism” as he spoke at the White House on Monday, but an administration official said the bombings were being treated as an act of terrorism.
“We will find out who did this. We’ll find out why they did this,” the president said. “Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups, will feel the full weight of justice.”
Across the U.S., from Washington to Los Angeles, police tightened security, monitoring landmarks, government buildings, transit hubs and sporting events.
Your browser does not support the iframe HTML tag. Try viewing this in a modern browser like Chrome, Safari, Firefox or Internet Explorer 9 or later.
The FBI took charge of the investigation, converging on a home in the suburb of Revere on Monday night and appealing for any video, audio and photos taken by marathon spectators. Authorities gave no details on the search. Investigators were seen leaving a building there early Tuesday carrying brown paper bags, plastic trash bags and a duffel bag, according to The Associated Press.
Investigators refused to give any specifics on the bombs and say, for example, where they might have been hidden or whether they were packed with shrapnel for maximum carnage, as is often the case in terror bombings overseas.
But Dr. Stephen Epstein of the emergency medicine department at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center told The Associated Press he saw an X-ray of one victim’s leg that had “what appears to be small, uniform, round objects throughout it — similar in the appearance to BBs.” He said it remained to be determined what exactly the objects were.
A European security official said Tuesday initial evidence indicates that the attacks were not the work of suicide bombers.
“So far, investigators believe it was not the work of suicide bombers, but it is still too early to rule it out completely,” said the official, who spoke to The Associated Press from the United States on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about the U.S. investigation.
The Pakistani Taliban, which has threatened attacks in the United States because of its support for the Pakistani government, on Tuesday denied any role in the bombings.
The fiery explosions took place about 10 seconds and about 100 yards apart, knocking spectators and at least one runner off their feet, shattering windows and sending columns of smoke rising over the street. Victims lost limbs and suffered broken bones, shrapnel wounds and ruptured eardrums.
As many as two unexploded bombs were found near the end of the 26.2-mile course as part of what appeared to be a well-co-ordinated attack, but they were safely disarmed, according to a senior U.S. intelligence official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the continuing investigation.
Martin Richard, 8, was among the dead, according to a person who talked to a friend of the family and spoke on condition of anonymity. The person said the boy’s mother and sister were also injured as they waited for the race to finish.
Hospitals reported at least 144 people injured, at least 17 of them critically. At least eight children were being treated at hospitals.
The Boston Marathon is one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious races and about 23,000 runners participated. Most of them had crossed the finish line by the time the bombs exploded, but thousands more were still completing the course.
Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis said authorities had received “no specific intelligence that anything was going to happen” at the race.
“We still don’t know who did this or why,” Obama said at the White House, adding, “Make no mistake: We will get to the bottom of this.”