Conflicting reports on possible arrest in deadly Boston bombings

There are conflicting reports about whether authorities have arrested a suspect in Monday’s deadly bombings at the Boston Marathon.

Investigators told news agencies that footage from a security camera showed a man carrying, and then perhaps dropping, a black bag near where one of the twin explosions killed three people and wounded 176 others at the finish line of the annual race.

CNN and the Associated Press both reported the arrest of a suspect, but questions later emerged about whether the man has been charged in the case. Local and federal officials denied there had been an arrest.

CNN reported that a key video was recorded at a local department store, and that video from a Boston television station also proved crucial in tracing the suspect’s movement.

Authorities plan to hold a news conference later Wednesday to report developments in their investigation.

The investigators have collected a variety of fragments they say were part of the bombs, including pieces of pressure cookers that contained the explosives.  The lid of one of the pressure cookers was found on the roof of a nearby building.

​Investigators released photos of mangled pressure-cooker pieces, a few inches of a charred wire attached to a small box, a Tenergy-brand battery attached to red and black wires, a small nail and the head of a blood-stained zipper.Authorities said they do not have any suspects. They are examining tapes from security cameras near the blast sites.

VOA correspondent Carolyn Presutti said police are also asking people to call in possible tips to try to find who was responsible.

“They said if any person that you know mentioned the date of the marathon with the intent of doing something wrong on that day, let us know,” she said. “They have received more than 2,000 tips, and the police say they are not letting any of those tips be ignored. They are … following up on all those tips in hopes that they get the break they need in this case.”

Police and firefighters unions in Boston have offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

Maryland Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger said after a security briefing Tuesday it is not likely al-Qaida or a foreign government was involved because of the lack of prior intelligence.

A doctor at Massachusetts General Hospital said Tuesday survivors listed as critical are improving. He called the wounded “amazing people” and said he was touched to hear victims who lost a leg say how glad they are just to be alive.

Two blasts seconds apart near the finish line of the marathon killed an 8-year-old boy, a restaurant catering manager and a graduate student at Boston University.U.S. President Barack Obama called the bombing a “heinous and cowardly act of terrorism.” The president will attend an interfaith service in Boston for the victims on Thursday.

VOA’s Presutti said more people were on the streets of Boston on Tuesday, with memorials springing up at barricades along the race route.”The memorials consisted of flowers, t-shirts, notes, some clothing, and the one thing that struck me at this one memorial that we saw was a framed medal. It was a medal that someone had been given for finishing the Boston Marathon, and they put this medal in a frame, and they put a really nice saying next to it,” she said. “It said something to the effect of, ‘I finished the race, but I know a lot of you didn’t get to see your loved ones finish the race,’ or ‘You didn’t get finish the race so I give you my medal because I already had my congratulations at my finish line.'”

Presutti also described the city late Tuesday lit up in various spots in support of those injured and killed. The displays included a bridge featuring yellow and blue lights to match the marathon’s colors and a building at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology glowing with the red, white and blue of the American flag.