BOSTON — Federal investigators reported Wednesday they have viewed video of a possible suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings that shows the person totting a heavy black bag into the finish line area and perhaps dropping it there.
They said they were close to identifying the individual but firmly denied media reports that they had made an arrest. The video apparently shows the bag at the site of the explosion that occurred 12 seconds after the first bomb went off. Three people were killed and 176 injured.
Based on remnants of the bombs at the crime scene, officials said the explosives appeared to have been hidden in black duffel bags or backpacks, and left about 100 yards apart in the areas cordoned off for spectators.
They said the bombs were comprised of nails, ball bearings and other small metal objects sealed in common kitchen pressure cookers that were either timed to explode or remotely detonated. Once they discharged, the encased projectiles sprayed scores of people, causing death, loss of limbs and many other major injuries.
A spokesman for Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino said that a surveillance camera at the Lord & Taylor department store across from the second bomb site was the "best source of video so far" in identifying who perpertrated the carnage. But officials would not say if that was the video that contained the image of the possible bag-carrying suspect.
Investigators have pored, frame-by-frame, through hundreds of photos and video taken by security cameras, television stations and spectators since the bombings Monday afternoon that President Obama called an "act of terrorism."
Obama will attend a special interfaith prayer service for the victims at 11 a.m. Thursday at Boston's Cathedral of the Holy Cross. It will be the fourth time in the past several months he has been present for such an event, the most recent being the Newtown, Conn., school massacre.