FBI releases images of suspects in Boston Marathon bombing (VIDEO, PHOTOS)
Richard DesLauriers, the FBI agent in charge of the investigation, said the images showed the suspects walking together towards the finish line, and had been filtered out from thousands of leads.
He added that the bureau was counting on the public to be the investigation’s “eyes and ears,” saying it would “play a critical role in helping identify the two individuals.”
DesLauriers said the Bureau “initially developed a single person of interest” upon identifying a male with a white hat who appeared to put a black bag in front a restaurant at the finish line.
He said “identifying and locating those responsible” for the bombing is law enforcement’s top priority right now," adding that the images released at the press conference should be the sole pictures run in the press.
At least three people, including an eight-year-old, have been killed and more than a hundred injured after two explosions hit the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15th.
Immediately following the publication of the images online, Reddit users began scrutinizing the images of the two subjects, and quickly produced analysis of their attire, including a Bridgestone logo ball cap.
The two men are the FBI’s “sole interest” at this point, DesLauriers said.
Images of the two men were available on the FBI’s website, which went down immediately following the conference due to high web traffic. Online users were able to quickly locate a third, rear view image of what appears to be the first suspect.
Since the bombing, the Reddit community as well as social media users on Twitter have been actively sharing images of people they considered potential suspects, as well as examining those of a discovered bomb component, consisting of a pressure cooker lid. Potential evidence shared by the public should be taken with a large pinch of salt, however, as doctored images of the official suspects have already been passed around online.
The FBI says Suspect No. 2, who is seen wearing a white baseball hat, planted his backpack on the street, after which an explosion detonated “within minutes.” Suspect No. 1 is seen in a black baseball hat.
“As you can see, the quality of the photographs is quite good, but we will continue to work on developing additional images,” DesLauriers said, before warning the public to disregard any images not released by the FBI.
On Thursday, US President Barack Obama attended an interfaith memorial service in Boston in honor of the three people killed, and to pray for the 170 injured in the marathon explosions.
"Yes, we will find you. And yes, you will face justice," the president stated.
"Your resolve is the greatest rebuke to those who committed this heinous act," he added.